Coaches and athletes look for every legal edge over their competition. However, you may be putting too much emphasis on new innovations. Sleep is a foundation of human performance. It has the potential to fuel or wreck an athlete’s performance. It may not be flashy, but your athletes may not be getting the sleep they need to have an edge on and off the field.
Thoughts matter. Thoughts drive performance. An athlete’s thoughts direct her emotions, physical state, and behavior. Unfortunately, many athletes battle with counterproductive, discouraging thoughts – worries, doubts, and fears. Coaches can help athletes take control of their thoughts. Start by encouraging athletes to never say “don’t.”
Superteams load their rosters with high-dollar free agents in an attempt to win a single championship. They poach talent from their competition to tip the scales in their favor. However, the notion that you have to be a Superteam to win is a myth. In fact, most Superteams flop. A closer look at two recent victors reveals four secrets to their success.
Transitions are hard. Moving from the known to the unknown is scary. Yet the stats show that only 6% of high school athletes will play in college. Fewer than 0.5% of high school athletes will become professional athletes. Even if they do go pro, every athlete has to transition to life after sports one day. In working with Wounded Warriors over the years, I’ve learned that athletes can learn a lot from these resilient individuals.
In sports, everyone wants to win. Demands are high. Pressure is real. Egos abound. When athletes believe a teammate’s mistakes or poor play are damaging the team, they can get heated. Even the pros get caught on camera lashing out on the sidelines. Being overly critical can have damaging effects on your team. As the coach, it’s your responsibility to help your athletes be encouragers instead of criticizers.
In The Power of Positive Leadership Jon Gordon wrote, “Optimism, positivity, and belief are the fuel that positive leaders need to keep moving forward and drive results.” Whether you agree or not, it is hard to deny that athletes play better when they’re having fun, enjoying the moment, and are surrounded by people they genuinely love.
Simone Biles, Olympic Gold Medal winning gymnast, said, “Practice creates confidence. Confidence empowers you.” She’s right. The problem is when an athlete can’t translate his or her performance in practice to the competition surface. This can frustrate coaches and baffle players. What is going on here?
Coaching is like parenting in that it’s largely based on past experiences. You may choose to copy the best coaches you’ve seen and do the opposite of the worst. Perhaps you’ve had some good mentors along the way. Regardless, many coaches tend to be either more supportive or more demanding. Which category do you align with? More importantly, which gets the best results?