developing championship mental conditioning
The following is an excerpt from my book Coaching Champions For Life:
In a baseball context, success comes from training your players to calmly focus and be disciplined for maximum performance during months of competition in a game especially unforgiving of minor mistakes. This process begins by understanding why who you are becoming is more important than what you are accomplishing.
Every good coach’s goal is the same for his or her athletes. Good coaches want their athletes to teach others what they have taught them about how to help others.
Coaches are teaching their athletes the fundamentals of their sport and about competition as a vehicle to teaching them how to be successful in life. When coaching young athletes, a coach’s primary goal should be to maintain the athlete’s enthusiasm for the sport so the athlete will stick with it long enough to learn the life lessons the athlete needs to learn. If you teach them they can be good at something, you will teach them they can be good at anything. Older athletes need to be pushed out of their comfort zone to achieve things individually and as a team that they did not think were possible.
In sports, as in life, this is done by being able to handle adversity appropriately and about being unselfish, always thinking of others first.
When you do these things you “win”. When you do not do them, you “lose," regardless of the score of the game. Good coaches teach this by patiently helping their athletes learn the fundamentals of the sport, using the occurrences in their sport to illustrate how to overcome adversity in life, and by being good role models themselves.