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Showing posts from June, 2019

The Media

As an elite athlete, one of the best things you can do is stop paying attention to the media. Too often the media wastes your time, inflates your ego, causes complacency, increases pressure, or discourages you. You can maintain a much healthier mindset by blocking out the media.

It's human nature to want to know what others think about you. Everyone has an ego and likes it when they receive attention from others. It can become addictive to check the media to see what people are thinking about you and your team. When you hear or read positive things, you may get happy. When you hear or read negative things, you may get angry, but still, you may want to check back everyday to continue hearing/reading the negative comments.

At first, you may think this is harmless. You may even think it helps you. You may think it helps motivate you by providing positive reinforcement as well as "bulletin board material." But you'll be surprised at how fast it can spiral out of hand and n…

Fun

I believe that it’s very important for athletes to learn how to have fun while playing and training for their sport. Intrinsic motivation and having fun are so important for a few reasons. 

First of all, having fun is a reward in itself. Sports are meant to be fun. Sports can provide you some of your most fun memories in life. The fun provided by sports can greatly improve your mental health. If you’ve had a lot of fun during your athletic career, then you’ve had a good career. 

But fun is important for other reasons as well. It can help you reach your athletic goals. Some people think that if you focus too much on having fun, you won’t be serious enough to succeed. This is not true. 

Having fun can greatly help you stay committed to your sport for the long term. Having fun gives you another reason to train everyday. Having fun helps you cope with the more boring, grueling, and frustrating parts of training.

It’s hard to stay committed to your sport if you don’t experience any positive em…

Competition Between Teammates

Competition is such an important aspect of sports. Competition doesn't just happen between teams, but also between teammates. Teammates compete against each other to earn starting positions, playing time, captain titles, and team MVP awards. Competition is so important because it drives players to improve. Without competition, there's less urgency to improve. When players improve by competing against each other, it helps the team as a whole improve. However, in order for team competition to have its best impact, players need to have a positive attitude about competition. If players have a bad attitude about competition, then competition won't helps the team nearly as much. It may even cause more harm than good. Let me explain the differences between a good attitude and a bad attitude about competition.

Competition occurs when two players desire the same goal, but only one can have it. This desire is normally a good thing, but when this desire becomes too strong and override…

Loyalty

Loyalty is the state of being supportive and keeping allegiance. In sports, it means committing to a team for the long-term despite having opportunities to switch teams. Many coaches have shown to be disloyal, always ditching teams to move up the ladder. Some coaches choose to reject offers from other teams and stay loyal to their team. There are pros and cons to loyalty.

The pros of disloyalty are pretty obvious. Coaches ditch their teams to for better jobs. While some people think this is selfish, it can also be viewed as rational. At the end of the day, people need to do what’s best for them and their families. If a coach wants a higher paying job in a better location, at a school/team with more tradition, good for them. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with having large goals. And this can also be good for the smaller schools/teams where the coach currently coaches for. These disloyal coaches are also very motivated to do well at their current school, because if they don’t do wel…

Finish Strong!

As a coach, one of my favorite things to tell athletes is "finish strong!" This phrase might not seem very special, but it has deeper meaning than you think. What does it mean to "finish strong?" It simply means to try your best towards the end of a drill, practice, or game. But doesn't this phrase imply that an athlete isn't giving their best effort in the beginning? Wouldn't it be better to motivate an athlete to try their best all the time, and not just towards the end of a workout/game? In some cases, yes it would be better to do this, but in other cases it wouldn't. Let me explain.

They may not like to admit this, but most athletes don't give their absolute best effort for the entire duration of a practice or game. This is pretty normal. It's called pacing. Athletes, whether consciously or unconsciously, save some of their energy so it lasts for the end of the game. For most of the game, they may only give 80-90% effort. They may even pi…

Book Review: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

I haven’t read every leadership book out there, but I think it’s safe to assume that Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin is one of the best leadership books that you can read. Who else would you rather learn about leadership than from Navy Seals, who MUST master leadership because stakes are so high on the battlefield. You may think that military leadership doesn’t translate to civilian life, but this is not true. Willink and Babin do a great job of explaining universal principles of leadership that you can apply to sports, business, parenting, etc.
The main idea of the book is extreme ownership, which is a sense of responsibility for EVERYTHING that you have control over in your life. The logic behind this idea is pretty simple. When people lack ownership and blame others for problems, then they are less compelled to TAKE ACTION to solve problems, get things done, and succeed. They may think to themselves “Why do I have to work harder if it’s not my fault?” When people d…