Free Web Workshop: Completing the Player Performance Puzzle

The 5 ‘A’ Laws of Coaching Mental Toughness.

In a couple of days, I’m holding a Free Web Workshop called, Completing the Player Performance Puzzle: The 5 ‘A’ Laws of Coaching Mental Toughness. In this workshop I’ll take you through the 5 key elements that you need to effectively coach mental toughness…

4 Piece Puzzle Facebook Ad

You probably know the first 4 Laws…I’ll show you how to implement them better…

But you might not know the 5th Law (or get it confused or do the opposite)…And it’s usually the most powerful of all…

When we don’t know these laws, or when we implement them poorly, it’s disastrous for player performance outcomes because a player’s mental toughness powerfully influences not only how well they apply their technical, physical, and tactical skills, but how well they can develop those skills to begin with…

Speaking of implementing them…

How Joao Monteiro Became the Biggest Improver in College Tennis…

In 2014/2015, I was privileged to be invited by Head coach Jim Thompson to work with the Virginia Tech men’s tennis college team…As part of this, I worked with the players directly and Assistant Coach Stephen Huss also participated in a PhD project throughout the season designed to help develop his skill in coaching mental toughness…During the season the returning players were able to achieve an average 25% improved singles win rate and an all-time best school ranking…

Monteiro Image

And one of those players was Joao Monteiro…

Joao completed his college journey in May as the most improved player in College tennis…

SPECIAL REPORT: Control Traps Explained…

Why Our Attempts to Help Players Change Negative Thinking; Reduce Performance Anxiety; and Get in The Zone During Matches Don’t Work…And What To Do Instead

About 10 years ago I was frustrated and helpless regarding what I thought were my own failings in trying to help players achieve ‘ideal performance states’…But after some great mentoring from a psychology supervisor of mine, I underwent a process over several years of discovering that the ‘ideal performance/zone state aim was deeply flawed…As well as discovering the better way to develop mental toughness for tennis.

Control Traps Blog Image

And I’m going to share with you examples of how to coach this better way in just a minute…

But first I have to explain how the field of sport psychology has failed us with some misinformation about how to help players become mentally tough.

 How Sport Psychology Has Failed Us…

How I Discovered A Better Way To Develop Player Mental Toughness…

{#Note to Coaches: My Mentally Tough Tennis Coach Academy is now available for your registration…I know I told many of you that this day was going to arrive before now so thank you greatly for your patience and also to all the coaches who have provided feedback along the way…I’m very proud to say that this resource is going to further our ability to benefit many parents’ and players’ lives both on and off the court…You can check out the options available to you here… And if you choose a paid membership, be sure to apply your grand opening coupon code: GRANDOPENING at checkout for a 50% discount.}

'TheBetter Way'

In just a minute I’ll tell you about the experiment that led me to discovering the better way to coach mentally tough tennis, but first I’ll give you some important background…

 Early Career Learning…

In 2003/2004, a couple of early coaching failures taught me quickly that I simply didn’t have the coaching skills to handle the competitive challenges that many players face.

And these early coaching experiences fuelled a desire in me to become better skilled in helping players reach their competitive potential.

To do this, I spent a couple of years working for my former sport psychologist Michael Fox (this is Allen Fox’s brother who has been a very successful sport psychologist in Australia). Time spent with Foxy further inspired me to become a sport psychologist myself and although I enjoyed working across different sports, I naturally found myself spending most of my time as a psychologist working in tennis.

During those early years I dedicated myself to implementing the traditional mental skills I’d learned during my psychology training as best I could.

Skills like Concentration; Goal setting; Self-awareness, Imagery; and the control of internal/emotional states with the aim to achieve the ‘ideal performance state’/’zone’.

These aims made sense to me; after all; we all know that it’s easier to commit to helpful actions that increase the chance of success when we’re feeling calm and confident, and when we’re not experiencing difficult thoughts about potential loss…

And I generally found it useful to help players to develop their concentration skills; to set goals; to self-reflect; and to use imagery, etc.

But To My Surprise…

What Makes USC’s Peter Smith Such a Great Coach?

A couple of things compelled me to write this article…First, when coaches find out that I played for Peter Smith when he was at Pepperdine, they often ask me about his coaching qualities. Also, last week I had dinner with Jack Jaede…

USC Winning Image

Jack is a player who I worked extensively with over several years as a junior and when he finished high school in 2014 he had a tough decision to make…

Tennis Australia coaches believed that Jack should forgo college and turn professional and therefore offered him an incredible scholarship opportunity to train at the Brisbane Academy among top 100 ATP players.

But I believed that there were a couple of colleges that could provide an even better environment to help Jack develop both his personal and tennis qualities, and so I strongly recommended he consider these pathways.

One of these recommendations was Peter Smith and USC.

In the end Jack chose to go to USC, and after talking with him about how happy he is with his decision, I found myself reflecting again on Peter’s coaching.

So here are 4 memories of my experience being coached by Peter that provide a snapshot of what I remember as his best coaching qualities:

1.) He Walked the Talk…