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Showing posts from May, 2020

Playing Time

Every athlete wants playing time. They want playing time in order to prove themselves on the court/field, reach their personal goals, and help their team win, but they also want playing time simply to have fun. Almost every athlete would prefer to be on the field/court than to be on the bench. Since playing time is so highly coveted, it is important for coaches to clearly tell their players how to get it. Bad things happen when players don't understand why some players get more playing time than others.

You'd think that playing time is simply rewarded to the best players. But this isn't always the case. Coaches can reward playing time for slightly different reasons. Here are five factors that coaches can use to determine playing time. Each one has its pros and cons.

Talent
This means giving the most playing time to the best players. This is perhaps the simplest and most common sense way to reward playing time. Also, it most closely resembles meritocracy. It's the coach…

Playing Without Fans

This football season will be like none other. Even if there is a football season, there will likely be no fans in attendance, for both college football and the NFL. And even if fans are allowed to attend, it'll definitely be in way lower capacities than normal.

How will this affect performance on the field? There are many teams that are used to playing in packed stadiums, either at home or on the road. When they play their first game with no fans, it'll feel very different. Many athletes say they feel a rush of adrenaline once they run out onto the field and see and hear thousands of fans cheering. It's an experience that is hard to explain. Most people have never experienced such an adrenaline rush. Many athletes rely on this adrenaline rush to motivate them to give their best effort. This is especially needed in a very physical and emotional game such as football.

Does this mean we'll see a noticeable decrease in effort this football season? Not necessarily. While fans…

Mind Over Matter

The phrase, "mind over matter" means to use your mental strength to overcome physical challenges and reach a goal. It is a key component of mental toughness, which is the ability to reach and maintain peak performance through a variety of physical and mental stressors.

This type of mental toughness is important because in order to reach the top levels of sports, you have to overcome many physical challenges, such as physical limitations, fatigue, perception of effort, and pain. Everyone deals with these things, so the ones who are able to overcome them the best by putting their mind over matter are the ones who will reach the most success.

Too often, athletes underestimate the power of their mind. They become slaves to their bodies and make excuses to why they can't reach certain heights. They say they don't have enough physical talent or their opponent is too good. They say they're too tired, sore, or hurt. They say they didn't have a good week of practice. Th…

Best is the Standard

Clemson football coach, Dabo Swinney uses the motivational motto, "best is the standard." I believe this is a great motto because many people don't realize the importance of standards. Some athletes don't even know what the standards of excellence are. If you don't know what it takes to succeed, then you most likely won't succeed. Many athletes train how they want to train, without any awareness of how their training compares to the standards of excellence. They may deceive themselves and think their training is good enough. They may say they work hard and smart, but relative to who? If their training isn't as good as their competition's training, then they won't be as good as them. The best athletes and teams have the best training. It's about as simple as that. If you want to be above average, you have to have above average training. If you want to be a conference champion, your training has to be the best in your conference. If you want to …

The Man in the Arena

You may have heard the "man in the arena" quote by Theodore Roosevelt. The quote goes like this:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

This is a powerful message that can greatly help you deal with critics, pressure, and adversity. In fact, Lebron James often sh…

Book Review: Perform Under Pressure by Dr. Ceri Evans

In Perform Under Pressure, Dr. Ceri Evans teaches you how to change the way you feel, think, and act in order to improve your performance under pressure. Based mainly on neuroscience, Evans provides a "Red-Blue" model that gives you a great understanding of how pressure affects performance and how a "balanced brain" improves performance.

In the first section of the book, you'll learn how brain anatomy and brain functions can be categorized into two parts, Red and Blue. The Red component of the brain refers to the regions and functions associated with basic survival instincts, motivation, and emotional regulation. The blue component of the brain refers to the regions and functions associated with rational thinking, goal-setting, language, metacognition, attention, and working memory. Evans teaches that pressure is perceived as an emotional or social threat by our Red brain. And when threatened, our Red brain reacts in the same way as when threatened by physical t…