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COMMUNITY BLOG: How To Compete At Your Best (Regardless Of Your Opponent)

You’re midway through the season and you’re going up against a team with a far worse record. Last time you played this team, you OUTplayed them. Your team is going into the game confident (maybe even a little cocky) and all-but certain they’ll get that W. From every angle, this game should be a shut out. 

But as the game progresses, you notice:

  • Your athletes are making careless mistakes
  • You’re team is getting intercepted/rebounded/fouled out
  • Tempers are running high
  • Your team is inconsistent - timid one moment, overly aggressive the next

As the game continues, tensions rise high and frustration, disbelief, even a little panic bubbles to the surface. 

At the end of the game, you’ve lost… or maybe you’ve won. The score isn’t really the point. The point is that you played poorly.

You played down to your opponent. 

When we asked our Mental Training for Coaches Facebook group, “What do you do when your team...

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Are You Greedy For Results?

 

Why do you practice long hours, put in time at the gym, run stairs on the weekends, go back to school, apply for that internship, or work overtime at the office? Oftentimes, you do it because you believe that it will all pay off.

You believe that it will earn you the result you really want.

Being greedy for results can be a good thing. It can keep your goals high, give you energy, and act as motivation when you’re approaching burnout. That little girl who says she’ll play in the WNBA someday might just make it because she has her eye on the prize, she’s greedy for results.

But being greedy for results is not always a good thing. When it goes too far, it can result in self-destruction. 

In this video, I’ll talk about:

  • What happens in the brain when you care too much about the outcome.
  • The symptoms of being greedy for results (the 2 ways you self destruct)
  • How to strike a balance between not caring enough and caring too much. 

This...

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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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Should I Let my Same Sex Players Date Each Other?

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:

Should I let my same sex players date each other?

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....

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Recruiting: LGBTQIA+ Athletes and Coaches

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:

How do I talk about the 'LGBTQIA+ issue' in recruiting?

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...

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How do I Reconcile my Personal Beliefs with my Responsibility and Commitment to my Team?

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: How do I reconcile my personal beliefs with my responsibility and commitment to my team?

Sometimes, coaches struggle with diversity issues because they can’t reconcile a student-athlete's identity with their own beliefs (i.e. a coach who strongly disagrees with homosexuality based on their religious beliefs). Dr. Jenny Withycombe says you don't have to reconcile the two; if you root your program around respect, you don’t have to necessarily agree, but you need to respect the athlete. Use respect as the foundation of an inclusive program. That will create the best...

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Selfishness is out of season: 4 Ways leadership in athletics isn’t about YOU (part 2)

Last week we opened up a conversation about what leadership in athletics means, starting with these two concepts:

  1. Leadership means giving, not taking.
  2. Leadership means you want to serve, not be served.

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.

 

1.     Leadership means being a role model

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....

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Culture change

Sometimes what a program really needs is a total and complete culture change. Whether you are a new coaching staff trying to shift the mindset of your whole program, your whole athletic department, your whole university or you've been frustrated with a team that just accepts being mediocre and you need to shake things up, mental performance training just might be the missing link.

Positive Performance Training was honored to work with the University of Albany last year. They had an awesome brand new coaching staff –Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, Fred Castro, Mary Grimes, Amber Metoyer, and Tahnee Balerio. They were PUMPED to be there, all winners in their own lives and ready to shake their players into a ‘take no prisoners attitude.’

But it's not always that easy. External motivation only works for so long, no coaching staff can ‘want it’ for their players: the PLAYERS had to believe. And at first, they didn’t. They were used to losing, they...

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