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Showing posts from July, 2020

Themed Practices

In order to improve any skill, you need to emphasize it in practice. This is common sense, of course. Every coach and athlete knows the importance of emphasizing certain skills in practice. However, this is easier said than done. As a coach, you have to know which skills need to be emphasized the most, when they should be emphasized, and how much they should be emphasized. You can't emphasize something in practice too much or you won't have time to focus on other important skills. And if you emphasize too many things in practice, then you're not really emphasizing anything. I've written about this before in my blog post, blocked vs random practice.

But now I want to talk about a similar topic called themed practices. Themed practices are when you have a specific theme or emphasis on each day of the week. Pete Carroll, the coach of the Seattle Seahawks, is perhaps most famous for using themed practice. Here is what Carroll labels his practices for four days of the week:
T…

Different Ways to be Mentally Tough

Since mental toughness is the ability to reach and maintain peak performance through a variety of stressors, that means there are many ways to be mentally tough, or to use mental strength. You can be mentally tough when it comes to coping with pressure, stress, distractions, boredom, adversity, pain, fatigue, or the perception of effort. The mentally toughest athletes can cope through all of these stressors. However, this doesn't mean you're not mentally tough if you can't cope through all of these stressors very good. You may be mentally strong for some of them, but not all of them. This is fine because it's rare to be faced with all these stressors at the same time. Also, an athlete that is especially mentally tough in one area can use this specialty to perform very well in games and achieve great success over their careers.

For example, Marshawn Lynch may not have been the mentally toughest athlete overall, but he still used his mental toughness in a specific way to …

Be Proud of Your Effort

Effort is something to be proud of. Unfortunately, there are many athletes who are sometimes ashamed of giving effort. This stems from a fixed mindset, which is a belief that athletic skill is something you're either born or not born with, and cannot be improved with practice. When an athlete has a fixed mindset, they think naturally talented athletes should be effortlessly good. Therefore, they shy away from giving good effort, because they think giving effort proves that they're not naturally talented. They are especially scared of being "exposed" as a bad athlete because they believe there is no way to get better.

Athletes with a growth mindset, on the other hand, are not ashamed of giving effort. They embrace effort for two reasons. First, because they know the only way to get better is by giving effort. And second, because they know that their effort is a better reflection of character than their results are. This is why growth-minded athletes are proud of their …

How to Deal With Bad Luck

There's many times where athletes get very unlucky in games. For example, a tennis player's shot could land out by a millimeter, a football team could lose because of an unlucky tipped interception, a soccer team could lose because a referee made a terrible call, and a basketball player could accidentally land on a teammate's foot and injure himself. All of these unfortunate events can cause a lot of mental anguish. Knowing you missed out on something so large due to something so small and random is a terrible feeling. Athletes often ruminate over these unlucky events. Because of this, some athletes never mentally recover. One unlucky event can totally mess with an athlete's mindset and lead to more failure.

So how do you overcome this and rebound after unlucky events? One of the best ways to cope with bad luck is to have acceptance and know that luck usually balances out over time. Many people focus so much on bad luck, but they hardly acknowledge good luck. They'd…

Book Review: Conscious Coaching by Brett Bartholomew

Here is what I learned from Brett Bartholomew's book, Conscious Coaching: The Art and Science of Building Buy-In:

A coach's training program and technical/strategic knowledge is only as good as the athlete's willingness to buy into it. The art of coaching is about developing the leadership and communication skills needed to build relationships and buy-in from players.

Conscious coaches master the art of coaching by improving their social intelligence, communication skills, conflict management skills, emotional management skills, critical thinking skills, empathy, and authenticity. With these skills, conscious coaches are able to determine and execute the most effective ways to coach any kind of athlete in any kind of situation. They don't just coach each athlete the same way. Instead, they adapt their coaching style to fit the individual's goals, strengths, and weaknesses. By staying "conscious" of their coaching and their players' needs, they avoid let…