Overview of Sports Excellence
1. Mental Preparation- Concentration facilitates focus and essentially turns on the mind. Concentration, focus, and emotional regulation turn off the mental chatter that can distract us. Motivation to do drills, lift weights outside of formal practice, study offensive plays outside of practice....this is the most common component coaches understand i work with
2. Physical Preparation- Following the repetition of practice and skill mastery, nutrition and sleep are key components of athletic performance. Does your car require gas to move? So does your athlete. We wake up 2% dehydrated which translates into 80% performance capacity-not good! Physical preparation is actually one of the larger areas I cover with athletes along with my registered dietitian, Nikky Hindle, RD. (www.novasportsnutrition.com).
3. Relaxation and Life Balance- Too much nervous energy can paralyze you physically and mentally. On the line, breathe deeply from your diaphragm (pull air up from deep below) to increase flow of oxygen and decrease the pounding of your heart (nerves/heart working harder than it should). Closely related but separate from #1. Engaging in positive coping skills and leaving both wins (excessive celebration) and losses at the field after games - focus and energy moves toward the next game. This also includes developing a life outside the sport arena.
4. Leadership and Team Commitment- Coaches rarely provide athletes with mentorship or even instruction on leadership after appointing them to "team captain". Captains are often selected based on position (i.e. quarterbacks) or grade (seniors) with little consideration of character or leadership abilities. Regardless of leadership position, team cohesion either makes or breaks team success.