YOU have been affected by COVID-19.
Whether it’s school closures, season cancelations, challenges working from home, or threats to your own health and wellbeing, no one is spared, and our hearts go out to those that are hit the hardest.
And while we can’t offer you childcare, checks, or the season end you hoped for, we will support you the best way we know how: With tips on how you can maintain your growth mindset and improve your game during this time of disruption.
After all, if there’s one thing this crisis illustrates, it’s that we’re all in this together. Read on for our tips below.
Visualization is a powerful way to practice your sport without physically doing it. By visualizing success in your sport, you subconsciously increase your belief in your abilities. When you change how you see your abilities, your performance changes.
The most elite athletes in the world know that visualization helps...
In my experience with literally thousands of athletes, I’ve typically come across two main types of athletes:
1. The athletes that are the same on and off the field in regards to their personality and characteristics. (more common)
2. Athletes that are remarkably different on the playing field and off. (less common)
This is what I mean. An athlete can be shy off the field and really turn it on when the whistle blows. Or they can be sort of the same; introverted in the classroom, on the field, in the locker room etc. The same is true for more extroverted, bigger personality types. Some stay the same whether they are competing or not. Some are the life of the party but sort of fade back when playing their sport.
The shy, introverted athletes are the ones I want to focus on today. Specifically, the ones that are more reserved in their personal life, BUT would play better if they were consistently more aggressive on the field.
Our live webinar series, Coaching Female Athletes, ignited great discussion. We felt it would be an disservice not to share some of the questions we received from coaches that attended the webinar. The questions below highlight some of the biggest challenges that our coaches are facing in coaching their female athletes and the answers that Lindsey gave in our live webinar.
A: The really good news is that if your players are driven academically, they likely respond well to clear goals and measurements (like getting an A on a test). So you’ve got some good stuff to work with. But perhaps they aren’t naturally bringing that same mentality into practice. So you will have to create that for them.
If only I had a nickel for every time I heard that from a coach when they were asked, “What’s the difference between coaching men and coaching women?”
Which brings me to a question that has literally been nagging me for years:
This question is really tough for me because I have this knee-jerk emotional reaction that screams ‘Of course NOT!’
But then a quieter voice asks, ‘Hmm. Do we? And, if so, what can we DO about it?’
In my work with male and female athletes of all ages, I will say there are clear differences between the two. And two things stick out for me: Men somehow know that appearing confident is beneficial, even if it’s just a façade, and the ‘fake it till you make it’ principle really does work in regards to confidence.
But, that’s just my opinion.
We did what...
We had the great pleasure to speak with Dr. Jenny Lind Withycombe about diversity among elite athletes. Dr. Withycombe, has over 15 years experience within the field of athletics as an athlete, coach, consultant, sport psychologist, and diversity and inclusion educator. Most notably, Dr. WIthycombe has worked with the NCAA, AMCC and the US Rowing team.
Dr. Withycombe often gets asked the question:
The simple answer is no. Relationships of any kind, outside of the team dynamic, can be detrimental; both sexual and friendship-based. The most important thing to remember is that you have to explain it isn’t because they are same sex but rather that it is a real threat to the team dynamic.
However, relationships are going to happen sometimes, and there's not much you can do about it. That's why it’s very important to be prepared for the situation.
Dr. Withycombe suggests creating a policy around inter-team relationships....
We had the great pleasure to speak with Dr. Jenny Lind Withycombe about diversity among elite athletes. Dr. Withycombe, has over 15 years experience within the field of athletics as an athlete, coach, consultant, sport psychologist, and diversity and inclusion educator. Most notably Dr. Withycombe has worked with the NCAA, AMCC, and the US Rowing team.
Dr. Withycombe often gets asked:
Dr. Withycombe found that often athletes and coaches who are openly gay see themselves as a risk to their program's reputation. Some coaches will 'play dirty' by steering recruits away from competitors' programs because of sexual orientation.
The important thing to remember is that sexuality or gender identity should never be a 'problem'. Concern yourself with the culture of the program and building an inclusive program. Build the kind of program where sexuality, gender, race, or religion is openly accepted.
Remind people that you are...
We had the great pleasure to speak with Dr. Jenny Lind Withycombe about diversity among elite athletes. Dr. Withycombe, has over 15 years experience within the field of athletics as an athlete, coach, consultant, sport psychologist, and diversity and inclusion educator. Most notably Dr. WIthycombe has worked with the NCAA, AMCC and the US Rowing team.
The #1 reason that students don’t come out to coaches and teams is the fear of discrimination. So if they start the discussion, Dr. Withycombe advises that coaches first first thank the athlete for feeling comfortable enough to come out to you. Reassure your player that this doesn’t affect how you feel about them and offer your support. Ask your player to tell you how you can support them, especially if they want to tell the team. The coming out process is very complex so it’s important to be a support...
Last week we opened up a conversation about what leadership in athletics means, starting with these two concepts:
We ended the previous article by discussing how military training and athletics share an interesting commonality: both require hardcore mental and physical strength. We’ve made this comparison times before, and for good reason.
Whether you’re leading your team officially under a title banner (e.g. as Coach, Quarterback, Captain, etc.) or unofficially, it’s important to consider a hard truth: eventually your position will be taken over by someone else.
Lt. Col. Stacy Clements of the U.S. Air Force wrote a commentary on leadership recently. Much of the article was dedicated to military-specific concepts, but, having related athletics to business AND the military, it was interesting that the Lt....
Close your eyes, take a deep breath and think about one of your earliest memories of basketball. Think of a time when you were a little girl or little boy playing on a playground by your house, shooting hoops with your dad or your sister or a neighborhood friend. Remember how much fun it was, how freeing it was, how you wanted to stay out there all day long.
That’s a small part of a guided visualization I do regularly with the athletes I work with. This simple, sort of silly paragraph of text can be enormously powerful. Whether these athletes are struggling with confidence, not having fun, unmotivated, or frustrated this exercise can often lock them into a positive mindset in the matter of a few minutes.
For coaches it’s important to do the same thing- lock into the love of why you do what you do. With all the stress and pressure college coaches deal with, getting back to the root of your motivation can help drive you forward in a healthy, positive way....
It’s truly a marvel of modern science that we have so many different ways to reduce injuries, minimize their effect, speed up recovery, rehabilitate after trauma and generally allow an athlete to compete with injuries that, even a decade ago, would have kept them on the sidelines.
In my own collegiate years, I used a variety of contraptions I’d never heard of before: a bone-growth stimulating machine, high-powered ultrasound, an automatic pressurized ankle boot, and a pocket-sized electric stimulation machine. I had customized orthotics, mouth guards, braces and one very confusing shoulder sling … custom made, of course.
Physically, I was more than taken care of, and I have no doubt that each one of those elaborate and costly contraptions helped me a great deal. I’m grateful for that. But psychologically, I had few resources to turn to when I was injured.
Teammates, coaches and trainers...