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Showing posts from December, 2020

Turn Up the Pressure to Train, Turn it Down to Perform

Here is some simple advice to improve more in practice and perform better in games: turn up the pressure to train, turn down the pressure to perform . This is very similar to the saying, "practice like you play, play like you practice."  In general, there isn't as much pressure in practice as there is in games. It may not matter that much if you go through the motions and make mistakes in practice, because it's just practice. The consequences of your actions in practice aren't as immediate as they are in games. Overall, most athletes don't put enough pressure on themselves to train hard in practice, and they put too much pressure on themselves to perform well in games. As a result of this, they often enter competitions unprepared and overly anxious, which causes them to underperform and fail to reach their potential.  This is why coaches need to teach athletes to turn up the pressure in practice and turn it down in games. Games are already pressure-filled eno

Balance Solidarity and Individuality

The best coaches create a culture that balances solidarity and individuality. On one hand, they do a great job instilling a team-first attitude within their players. This is very important for obvious reasons. In order for a team to succeed, everyone on the team must completely buy into the team's goals, culture, and system. When players care more about the team than their own personal agendas, great things happen. Perhaps the best way to increase solidarity within a team is to inspire players to be a part of something greater than themselves. It doesn't always feel good to swallow your pride, but once players discover the joy and love of being a part of something greater than themselves, they become much more willing to sacrifice their selfish desires and put the team first. When this happens, they begin priding themselves more on their team success than on their individual success. However, there is only so much solidarity athletes can handle. They can't suppress thei

How to Deal with the Boredom of Training

One of the biggest obstacles to success is boredom. Many athletes end a training session early not because of how physically tough it is, but how boring it is. Let's be honest, working on the fundamentals and doing the same drills over and over again can be boring. However, to become great, you have to tolerate boredom and find ways to make training more fun. Here are many things you can do to deal with the boring parts of training: Discipline and extrinsic motivation:  Sometimes you simply have to toughen up, suck it up, and deal with boring parts of training. It may not be fun to watch hours of film, but you need to be disciplined and do it anyways, to help you improve and reach your goals. Attitude and intrinsic motivation: Understand that not every part of training has to be fun. There are going to be parts of training that are boring. You have to accept this and take the good with the bad. Know that overall, your training is still enjoyable and worth it. Also, you need to

Watching Sports as a Mental Exercise

Watching sports on TV can be stressful, especially if you're a fan of one of the teams. When your team makes a good play, you usually get happy, but when your team plays poorly, you usually get angry or sad. You can also get very angry if the referees make a bad call against your team. Overall, watching a game can put you on an emotional roller-coaster. For the most part, this is fine if you're just a fan. However, if you're also an athlete, this can reinforce unhelpful thinking patterns that can make you mentally weaker in games. When you're playing in an actual game, you don't want to think like a fan. You want to think like an athlete! You don't want to get too emotional after good or bad plays. For the most part, to play your best, you need to stay calm, focused, motivated, and confident after each play, no matter how good or bad it was. This is why reinforcing negative thought patterns as a fan can hurt your mental toughness as an athlete. However, this doe

Book Review: Choke by Sian Beilock

Choke: The Secret to Performing Under Pressure by Sian Beilock is another great book you can read to help you perform better under pressure. I've already written three reviews on books about performing under pressure. They include: Performing Under Pressure by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry Perform Under Pressure by Dr. Ceri Evans Psyched Up by Daniel McGinn Choke by Sian Beilock adds to this collection with its own helpful advice. The great thing about Choke is that it's written by an author who has personally researched the topic of choking and performing under pressure in university laboratories. The knowledge and advice she gives in this book is not only well-researched but also very easy to read. Beilock does a great job simplifying the language. Unlike other scientific books, you can read this book relatively fast and comprehend all of it at the same time! The premise of this book is that by understanding how people choke in different situations, you can bett