Six ways to sell your athletes on mental training
Sometimes you may need to sell your athletes on the idea of mental training. They may feel the mental aspects of performance are not important.
Here are six points to sell your athletes on the importance of mental training:
1. Physical training alone will not free you from self-doubt and anxiety. You need to focus on something other than doubts or worry, especially at crucial moments when confidence and control over your situation are critical. You need to block out distractions. "Choking" is often the result of being distracted or thinking negatively. Mental training will help you overcome these problems.
2. Our thoughts direct our bodies. There are two types of thoughts. Conscious thoughts allow us to react as we wish. But subconscious thought can sometimes deter performance. Mental training will help you "think correctly."
3. Oftentimes we will be matched up against opponents who have equal physical abilities. But we will have the edge because of our sharper mental attitude and preparation.
4. Competition is stressful. Our ability to cope with stress depends on the skills we have developed. How many times have you heard about a team being defeated because they "just couldn't get it together" on a particular day. This requires mental training and preparation.
5. There will be times when we need to extend our limits. We will need to call on that "extra-reserve" in the closing minutes and push ourselves to the limit in order to catch up or stay ahead. This requires "mental toughness" to go beyond the fatigue of a very difficult situation.
6. You all have great performances you would like to repeat on a consistent basis. Mental training teaches you how to be consistent. George Allen once said that any one individual or team can have a great game or even a superb season but winning on a consistent basis is the measure of true champions.
Excerpted from the book: Championship Performance Coaching Volume 1: Legendary Coaching Wisdom on Leadership, Motivation and Practice Plans to Achieve Your Dream Season. Published by Championship Performance. www.championshipperform.com
Bowling Green football coach Mike Jinks on helping young athletes embrace roles, recognize responsibilities and be all in for the team
Dr. Jesse Michel, mental skills coordinator for the World Series Champion Houston Astros, on helping young athletes improve focus and concentration to perform at their best
University of Tulsa football coach Philip Montgomery on the importance of sending players home in a positive frame of mind
Olympic swimming great Dana Vollmer, winner of five gold medals, challenges coaches of all youth sports to find the most effective ways to motivate all their young athletes