When we get this one on court coaching communication style consistently right, it’s about as powerful a mental toughness promoter as there is…
That’s the reason that we all should focus on it until it’s fundamental to our coaching (especially when players get frustrated after missing a shot/losing a point during practice).
But because of our competitive brain it’s hard not to fall for the trap of doing a poor job of this when working on improving an area of a player’s game….I know I catch myself not doing it very well regularly.
And I’m guessing if I watched you coach I’d see you regularly trip up on this one as well…This video is about how to gradually boost your players mental toughness by using this simple communication style.
Do you agree or do you think there’s something more important than this?
Let me know in the comment section below…
One emerging theme in player development involves the idea of creating independent players.
But this goal underestimates the importance of the coach-player relationship. And brain research has shown that it’s not possible to create an independent player anyway.
So how can we balance players’ best interests by simultaneously encouraging the coach-player relationship while also supporting their developing autonomy?
Let’s take a look.
Typically, when players miss a ball during practice, they tend to feed the next ball in quite quickly (generally a couple of secs) without intentionally refocusing before the start of the rally.
When players do this, however, they miss out on a great opportunity to develop basic competitive skills.
Here are 2 activities I complete with players regularly to help them practice intentionally refocusing and committing to a helpful process for each new rally (you can also see me explain and complete the activities with USC freshman Jack Jaede in the video above where he is completing the ‘calling the attention’ activity I showed you in an earlier video post…)
Activity 1: 5 Secs Between Rallies
Coaching requires a degree of explicit/directive approaches, especially when a player lacks knowledge/skill in the area being coached. Due in part to ease of delivery, it’s tempting as a coach to focus our communications solely on this explicit style of advice relating to task improvement (E.G., “This is how you should do it”.) But over time, players can tend to switch off to continual explicit instructions from coaches, and we need to have more communication strategies in our ‘kit bag’. If you’re working with a player who you feel is doing a poor job of listening to, and implementing, explicit advice that you find yourself continually repeating, here are 6 simple strategies that you might find improves player implementation of your advice…