Sports Psychology: Integrating Mental Skills Training in Effective Coaching.
Sports Psychology: Integrating Mental Skills Training in Effective Coaching.

We all agree that developing mental skills is an essential part of being a successful athlete.

The ability to perform under pressure, the capacity to remain confident and resilient when competition conditions get tough, the skill to be able to relax and stay focused when feeling pain and fatigue in competition, concentration, visualization……coaches and athletes are unanimous that spending time developing mental skills is time well spent.

However, figuring out the best way to develop mental skills – particularly mental skills which can directly enhance the competition performance of athletes is another matter.

We all think working with a Sports Psychologist is a good idea but Sports Psychologists are like life partners……we know that having one is probably a good idea but it is next to impossible to find a good one.

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The Top 20 Tips on Being the Best: 20 years of experience in 500 words!
The Top 20 Tips on Being the Best: 20 years of experience in 500 words!

 

I have been lucky to be involved in high performance sport for the best part of 20 years.

I have been very very fortunate to work with Olympic Gold Medalists, World Champions, World Record Holders, Premiership Title Winners, World Cup Winners…champion athletes, teams and coaches in many different sports and in several different countries.

Quite often, when I do professional speaking or training with corporate or sporting groups, someone in the audience will ask, “What do all the winners have in common” or “From your experience, what things do all the great athletes, teams and coaches do that makes them the best”.

There are indeed some things all the great ones have in common: The Top 20 Tips on Being the Best: 20 years of experience in 500 words!

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Improve your Coaching by NOT Coaching

By Wayne Goldsmith |

You read right – improve your coaching by NOT coaching.

Coaching improves performance.

But too much coaching – over coaching – can have a negative influence on performance.

Who OVER coaches?

Typically five types of coaches OVER coach:

  1. Young, inexperienced coaches who are trying too hard;
  2. Coaches who lack real belief in themselves and who try to make up for it by giving too much information. These coaches will often want to be liked – and feel the more coaching they do, the more the athletes will like them;
  3. Coaches who lack belief in their athletes and feel the need to control every element of preparation and performance;
  4. Coaches who are being evaluated or assessed and aim to impress by being SEEN to control every element of the training session, i.e. they believe that great coaching is talking more;
  5. EGO driven coaches who see athletes / players as a vehicle to promote themselves and their reputations.
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Teaching Skills – A Performance Focused Approach to Teaching Skills.

What’s the difference between learning sports skills to play sport and learning sports skills to win in competition conditions?

Playing the sport is about learning and executing the skills of the sport.

Winning in competition is about executing skills to a high level of mastery, at high speed, in fatigue conditions and under pressure and consistently making the right decision about when, where and how to execute the skill.

So, why do so many coaches insist on teaching the basic skills without progressing them from playing level to performance level?

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The Five Stages of Coaching: Going from Beginner to the Best Coach You can Be.
The Five Stages of Coaching: Going from Beginner to the Best Coach You can Be.

There are coaching courses, coaching workshops, coaching programs, coaching presentations and coaching seminars.

There are mentoring programs for coaches, professional development programs for coaches, training programs for coaches and a million and one degrees, certificates and accreditation programs for coaches.

But what is coaching and what does it take to get really good at it?

What is great coaching?

And would you even recognise it even if you met it over a nice red wine and dinner?

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Thinking Outside the Box in Coaching in High Performance Sport – Creativity is King!
Thinking Outside the Box in Coaching in High Performance Sport – Creativity is King!

There is a tribe in the highlands of Papua New Guinea who have never seen modern technology, who could not even imagine using the latest electronic tools, who can not comprehend western society concepts of computing, social media, high speed Internet links, laser technology or satellite navigation.

This tribe, believes that the best way – the only way – the way everyone must adopt  to cut down a tree is to make an axe by lashing a sharp rock to a piece of wood. This knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries….this tribe knows for certain that the only way to cut down a tree is to use a hand made stone ax.

And then, one day, through the forest, comes a man from the USA carrying a chain saw……. 

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Can you achieve the same or better performance results with reduced training volume? More on More with Less.
Can you achieve the same or better performance results with reduced training volume? More on More with Less.

One of the greatest challenges many traditional Olympic sports face is how to achieve the same or better results in less time. Kids and parents have very little spare time and for sports like swimming, track and field, rowing, diving, gymnastics, tennis and cycling, finding ways to optimise athletic development and enhance sports performance efficiently: i.e. achieving better performances in less time has become an increasingly important aspect of coaching around the world.

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Talent Identification in the Western World – Over funded and Over rated.
Talent Identification in the Western World – Over funded and Over rated.

 

The concept of Talent Identification – TID for short – makes sense.

Do some standardised testing and screening of lots of kids, find the ones who can run faster, run further, jump longer, stretch better than the rest and bingo- you found talent!

It all grew out of the now “mythical” talent identification systems of the old Eastern Block (and more recently China) – and the countless stories we have all heard for the past 30 years about how the centralised government systems put every child in the nation through a series of TID testing protocols and then funnelled them in to the specific sports where their talent was most likely to be developed to its full potential.

But in the western world, in spite of the hundreds of millions of dollars thrown at TID in Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Western Europe, with the exception of a few minor and specialised sports – it has failed and failed badly.

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The Top Ten Reasons Why Coaches Fail
The Top Ten Reasons Why Coaches Fail

Ever wanted to know what’s holding you back as a coach? Ever wanted to know why you are not realising your potential?
This post, “The Top Ten Reasons Why Coaches Fail” outlines the ten biggest mistakes coaches make, discusses how you can avoid them and in doing so ensure your coaching becomes everything it could and should be.

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