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8 Reasons no one cares you’re tired: Letter from an Olympian

Note to Coaches: As you've probably noticed already, sometimes your athletes need to hear a different voice than yours; and who better than an Olympian? We asked Olympic Silver Medalist, Courtney Thompson, to share her perspective on fighting fatigue in athletic performance. Share her message with your team, and read all the way to the end of the blog for another actionable tool to drive these principles home.

Most of us respond to fatigue by getting frustrated and feeling bad for ourselves. We let our fatigue take us out of our game and into a mindset that isn't helpful to us or our team.

Luckily, I have a few tips you can use to help get out of that destructive thought pattern and back to focusing on becoming the best athlete you can be. It may sound harsh, but here are:

8 Reasons no one cares you’re tired

#1: It’s not about you, so get over it.

The fact of the matter is you play a team game, even if it’s an individual sport, and as a teammate...

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The Mindset of Confidence

"Confidence is simply that spiritual space where you feel free to focus on only those things you can control.” - Jerry Lynch, The Way of a Champion

When I was a younger athlete, I believed that my accomplishments would lead to confidence.  That if I did this or accomplished that, I’d walk around with confidence all the time. I remember looking at college athletes, and later, Olympic athletes and thinking, “Wow, they must never doubt themselves or get nervous in a game. They must not mess up during a play they’ve done correctly 1,000 times in practice.” I assumed that if you were ‘that good’ or had accomplished ‘that much’ you were past having to struggle with confidence.

But it’s not that way at all.

What I’ve learned from playing with and against some of the best players in the world, and also from being around multiple high-level athletes from several Olympic sports, is that your confidence...

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Solving Your ‘Parents’ issue: Creating a value-based culture to transform your program

Culture has the power to build or break you as a team. It is the x-factor when the competition is tough, and the framework that holds every decision and every behavior on your team to a high standard. But how do you create a truly bulletproof, values-based team culture? And, the bigger question is, how can you create a team culture that extends all the way out to the parents?


We sit down with expert, John O’ Sullivan, an internationally known TEDx Speaker, and the founder of the Changing the Game Project, to discuss the following topics (and more!):


THE PARENT ISSUE:

When there is an issue with parents, it typically comes out of fear. Fear for their kid that they won’t get playing time, that their hard work won’t be rewarded, or that the coach isn’t being fair to them. Irrational reactions, aggression, emotional outbursts, and unproductive communication methods typically stem from an emotional response to fear.


As a coach, you can combat fear by providing...

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5 Ways self-talk will help you now!

 By Olympian Courtney Thompson

You should exercise unrelenting discipline over your thought patterns.  Cultivate only productive attitudes… You are the product of everything you put into your body and mind.”  -I Ching

In my experience, it’s pretty safe to assume that everyone wants to be confident.  No matter what you are doing: Playing a game, giving a speech, on a date, or taking a test at school, it’s going to be infinity more enjoyable when you feel good about who you are in that moment. In other words, confident in your own skin.

I know from personal experience how painful it is to NOT be truly myself in a given moment. It’s a feeling, in my opinion, significantly worse than losing or failing or any of the things we spend time worrying about.

What I want for you

This is my challenge to the athletes I work with: Fight and work towards being your true self, nothing more and nothing less, in every environment you...

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How Coaches Can Make Small Communication Shifts for Big Impact

We sat down with communication expert, Betsy Butterick to discuss how you can make just a few small changes to communicate with your team in a positive, constructive way that nurtures growth. You can watch the entire interview here and read about he interview below. Here are a few highlights:

  • How to deal with difficult parents.
  • How to communicate effectively with athletes on sensitive issues.
  • How to correct and critique so your athletes actually hear what you are saying
  • How to nurture a positive environment with your words. 

This is an in-depth coaching masterclass, so buckle up and get ready to learn from Betsy!


COMMUNICATING FOR CHANGE

Betsy began our interview by teaching us the very actionable strategy and high-power impact of communicating with athletes in a positive way. Namely, she discussed how coaches can reframe negative feedback and rephrase it in a positive way. By sending a positive, constructive message, you can create change and increase...

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3 Simple Tricks to Increase Competitiveness in Your Athletes

Everything is going well until… it isn’t. Then what?


The thing is, you know and I know, that your athletes are going to STRUGGLE at some point- one mistake is going to turn into 2, 3, more? You will likely lose, an athlete will be in a slump. Someone will get injured and another will just have an 'off' day.

So if we KNOW this is going to happen, why not have a plan for when it does? In this information packed interview, I team up with Fast Pitch Fit founder and mental training expert Jenn Starkey to talk about how athletes can use her 3 simple hacks to get them back to a strong, competitive mindset when things aren’t going their way.


Her exercises demonstrate the true power of visualization and mental training and her way of teaching is truly special. (this will be a GREAT video to share with your athletes).


Watch the video, and take her lessons back to your team to show them how the smallest mental adjustment can mean the difference between a foul ball and a home...

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The Top 4 Reasons You Don’t Visualize

I’m bad at visualization,” said a young tennis player I've been working with recently. I get this a lot. In fact, I would say about a quarter of the people I work actually verbalize this statement out loud (there's no way to know how many people believe it but choose not to say it).

So, I wanted to take a little time to talk about visualization, to break it down a little further. After all, visualization is one of the most powerful tools you have for training your subconscious to achieve what you say you want to achieve. And it's not just for sports, it's a highly valuable tool for all parts of your life. Research has shown us this time and time again.

If you are a coach, parent, or an athlete, not only should you be utilizing visualization to help you achieve your own goals, it should be the backbone of your mental training program.

With all this on the line, why isn’t everyone utilizing this powerful (and super simple) tool?

There are a few common myths...

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Mini Training: 4 Simple Steps To Improving Your Team Culture

Note from PPT: This blog is an overview of Lindsey Wilson's mini training, originally published in our Positive Performance Mental Training For Coaches group on Facebook.  Click the video below for the full training.


There are 4 areas (we like to call them "buckets") of team culture. These buckets represent the different parts of a team that need to be addressed in order to cultivate a positive and sustainable team culture. Build an army of leaders who are devoted to upwards trajectory and growth for the betterment of the team by addressing the following:  

Individual Mindset

If you've ever flown in an airplane, you've been told that in the case of emergency, put your oxygen mask on before helping others with their own. The same goes for athletes on a team.  If you're not taking care of, or feeling great about yourself, it's nearly impossible to contribute to a positive team culture. If you're tearing yourself down, you may even be subconsciously...

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The Opportunities We Don’t See

 

When I’m working with a team to teach them how the brain works, I take them through my go-to favorite exercise that illustrates a really important concept, one that is very easy to forget.

  • First, I tell everyone in the room to look around for the color red. They might suddenly notice the red sweatshirt, the red button, the tiny bit of red in the painting on the wall, little things that they hadn’t noticed before.
  • Then ask them what blue items they noticed in the room, and of course, they didn’t SEE blue because they weren’t LOOKING for blue.

I was reminded of this recently; reminded that this lack of awareness about things that you’re not looking for happens all the time. Even those of us that teach this stuff fall victim to it. That’s why we often need others in our life to remind us to look for opportunities, to see things in ourselves that we take for granted and don’t fully appreciate, to see the goodness in others, or to look...

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5 Simple Steps For Dealing With Nerves

You’ve seen or experienced it before: an athlete practices and trains with focus, determination, and passion for a competition only to tighten up in their big moment.

All that work....wasted.

Seeing an athlete break down and self-sabotage is heartbreaking. Nerves are complicated, and every athlete is different. For one athletes, nerves may make them just a little more hesitant, a little less joyful, a little more stressed than they need to be. For another, nerves can be the trigger that unleashes a flood of emotions. (And of course, for a lucky few, nerves are the thing that they need to compete at their best.)

Big or small, nerves often have unpredictable results and make it difficult for many athletes to play to their full potential.

When there is unrealistic pressure, it’s easy for athletes to get way too nervous, even quit on themselves, their goals, or their belief in what they can do.

So how do you as a coach help your athletes deal with their nerves? After all,...

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