Archive for 'Winning Ways Blog'

Help 1st Year Players Integrate into Team Culture

When freshman and transfers enter your program, you want them to integrate into your team culture as quickly as possible.   To help make this transition smooth, here are three tips for coaches and five for athletes. These 8 ideas will build team chemistry.

Coaches to do list: 1) Welcome letter. After they sign their commitment letter or make the cut on your squad, send a letter welcoming them aboard.  Let the new player know how much you look forward to being ...

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Wooden’s 8 Essentials for Great Practice

Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden was a master at organizing practices for maximum production. Here are his 8 tips to create a great practice environment. Implement these and watch athletic motivation and engagement soar.

Excerpted from the book Championship Performance Coaching I: Legendary Coaching Wisdom on Leadership, Motivation, and Practice Plans to Achieve Your Dream Season.

  1. Fundamentals before creativity: Coach Wooden believed the teaching of fundamentals, until they are all executed quickly, properly, and without conscious thought, is prerequisite ...

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3 Creative Ways to Increase Motivation

Special recognition doesn’t have to happen only at the end of the season team awards banquet. In fact, some of the best opportunities to build morale through recognition will come when you “catch players doing something right” on the practice field, in the classroom or in the local community. Here are 3 creative ideas to increase motivation.

1) Create freedom cards that you give out to superior practice performers. These cards are a great way of saying, “Thanks for great work, ...

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8 Critical Factors for Road Game Success

1) Familiarize yourself with the environment. We want the players to be comfortable. All road environments are different. Every rim in a basketball arena is different. Every hockey surface is different. Time permitting, athletes should familiarize themselves with the new environment. The goal is to get to a comfort level that results in productive play.

2) Make routines as close as possible to what you do at home. If your team gets to the ball field an hour early at home, ...

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Maximize Goal Setting Using SMART System

Goal setting can sometimes get boring and not be used to its full effectiveness. A systematic program called SMART will help coaches and athletes better achieve goals, improve performance and athletic motivation.

SMART stands for:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time Bound

The use of such an acronym is helpful in having athletes remember some of the key elements within goal setting. Goal setting, done correctly, involves many facets to be truly effective. One can, though, still be effective with focus on the basic elements within SMART goals.

Specific ...

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4 Most Common Team Captain Mistakes

You want your team captains to be like extensions of your coaching on the floor or field. But some players don’t always lead in a way that helps raise the play of everyone around them. Here are 4 mistakes that you should watch out for so your captains don’t make them.

The following is excerpted from the book – Championship Performance Coaching Volume 1: Legendary Coaching Wisdom on Leadership, Motivation, and Practice Plans to Achieve Your Dream Season

1) Thinking they ...

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Garcia’s New Confidence Leads to Masters Win

As Sergio Garcia prepared for yet another attempt to win his first major championship, his soon to be wife Angela Akin handed him a stack of letters. Each one was a hand written note on green paper (symbolizing the green jacket for Master’s winners).

The letters came from friends and family members from Texas all the way to Spain, his home country. The addressed two key points: why they loved him and why they thought they knew he could win.

The injection ...

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Brad Faxon’s 4 Keys to Great Putting

Formerly one of the best putters on the PGA tour, Brad Faxon had a success formula that helped him lead the tour in putting average multiple times. Three specific examples of Faxon’s success formula:

  • “Before I start a round, I take a pen and draw a line on the ball about an inch and a half long. That line faces the direction I’m going to putt. I put the ball down with the line pointing toward the highest point in the ...
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Keep Motivation High During a Losing Season

When you are part of turning around a program or having one of those inevitable down years, sustaining motivation and a positive attitude can be a challenge. Former three time Super Bowl Champion coach Bill Walsh offered these 10 reminders to keep yourself focused and team motivation high during a losing or sub par year.

1) Concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results themselves: the process rather than the prize of winning.

2) Exhibit an inner toughness emanating ...

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Top 10 Team Captain Responsibilities

Every team needs to have good leadership. It is critical that your team captains are providing the bulk of that leadership. Consultant Michael Voight of Central Connecticut State lists ten “must do’s” for team captains to be successful.

1) Team Organization – With the busy schedules of student-athletes, captains remind players of commitments and changes in schedules and reinforce team structure.
2) Team Connections – Captains are responsible for connecting with their teammates on a daily basis to ensure all players ...

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