Coaches – Preparing Mentally for Next Season
Posted by Dean Holden at July 28th, 2012
Mike Margolies, Junior Hockey News, 29 May 2012
I’ve written here for the last several months primarily for the players. I think it is important that I mention that The Game within the Game is for coaches as well. WE are all looking to perform at the highest levels and regardless of if we are competing on the ice or competing as coaches against other teams we must be at our best. The Athlete Within You was written for coaches as well as the players (use this code – 4ZHURJA4 for a 25% hockey discount).
I challenge coaches to look in the mirror themselves. Ask yourself some of these questions:
- When there is a bad call against us, do I rant and rave at the referees? Do I accept that behavior from my players?
- Do I get a good night’s sleep the night before a big game?
- Am I tense before, during or after games?
- Do you face your fears or avoid them?
- Are you confident?
- Do you practice what you teach your players?
Players’ model behavior of those they admire and respect. They will emulate you! If you get angry, so will they. If they feel your stress, they will play stressed. When you are calm, they will be as well. It is OK to have intensity, just be sure to that it is delivered in a controlled manner.
For years now I have taught a course in the Psychology of Coaching. The curriculum from my last course outline looked like this:
|Coaching of Philosophy||Coaching Style|
|Teaching Techniques||Self -Talk|
|Outside Influences||Parent Training|
|Pre & Post Performance Routines||Goal Setting|
|Stress / Anxiety Management||Anger Management|
|Confidence Building||Emotional Control|
Your coaching can benefit from some type of focus on the mental side of coaching. Your players will improve and you will be more adept and working with and improving their performance. It’s not just X’s and O’s and it is not just about player selection. A good grounding will help you in all areas of coaching. For those of you out there that would say, I don’t need that stuff! My old coach knew nothing about psychology. That may or may not be true, but this is something I do understand.
Coaches coach all too often as they were coached. If we never changed as coaches we would never make true progress. In football it’s the difference between a Mike Ditka and a Pete Carroll. In basketball it’s PJ Carlesimo (with Latrell Sprewell choking him) and Phil Jackson. Hockey, well I’ll leave that up to you.
Progress is learning from the past and incorporating what science teaches us about performance today. There was a time when allowing athletes to drink water was a sign of weakness. Today that is thought of as ridiculous. Sport Psychology and mental training have been with us for 75 years formally and many more informally. Incorporating mental training into your program will benefit your athletes and you.
Category: sport psychology