Mental Skills for Baseball

Mental Skills for Baseball As the chill of winter slowly gives way to sunshine and warmer weather, baseball and softball players around the country are beginning to get ready for the upcoming season. Spring training, from the pros down to Little Leagues, means working...

Keeping Athletes Safe From Concussions

Keeping our Athletes Safe from Concussions This week, I attended and made a presentation at a conference hosted by CORE Health Care entitled “Keeping Our Athletes Safe.” In addition to my presentation, the meeting included excellent presentations by Mike...

Take Instruction Only As Directed

Take Instruction Only as Directed The late renowned golf coach Harvey Penick was known for likening instruction to medicine.  He would caution his students that when he gave them instruction to “not take the whole bottle.”  He also warned against taking...

Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness Recently, I have had two separate discussions, one with a high school football coach, and another with the parent of a young athlete, about sports and toughness.  In both conversations, the individual with whom I was speaking touted sports as the last...

Taking A Break

Taking A Break  Whenever we hear stories about an elite athlete and their rise to stardom, without fail we hear about the tireless devotion to their sport and hours upon hours of practice.  We are led to believe that they eat, drink, and sleep their sport, and it is...

Identifying Your Child’s Ideal Sport

Identifying your Child’s Ideal Sport As parents, it seems like the time we spend changing diapers and washing bottles is transformed overnight to shuttling our kids to various sporting events, watching them play, and maybe even contributing as a coach or other...

Defining “Winning” For Young Athletes

Defining “Winning” for Young Athletes At a recent meet for my daughter’s swim team, I saw several youngsters who performed wonderfully in their events, but were nonetheless disappointed because other swimmers finished the heat ahead of them.  In...

Role Models and Sportsmanship

Role Models and Sportsmanship Those of you who have been following the NBA playoffs this season no doubt saw or heard about the Lakers’ unceremonious exit from the race, with very poor displays of sportsmanship by two of their players.  With the game quickly...

The Talent Myth

Talent is a Myth When watching an elite athlete in any sport, it is tempting to conclude that the athlete was born with innate talent.  How else can you explain the seemingly super-human abilities of players like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, or Venus and...

Self-Confidence Is Everything

Confidence Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.  -Henry Ford As athletes, we have all had those times when we were sure that the task before us was well within our abilities, and there were other times when we were not so sure. ...

Understanding And Overcoming Performance Anxiety – Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 in the series “Understanding and Overcoming Performance Anxiety.”  So far we have discussed the basics of performance anxiety as well as reducing the cognitive load of the athletic task so that performance is less likely to be adversely...

Overcoming Performance Anxiety – Part 2

Overcoming Performance Anxiety In the last post, I introduced the topic of performance anxiety.  If you recall, there are two basic ways to reduce anxiety to a manageable level in athletic competition: reduce the cognitive load of the athletic task and/or reduce the...

Overcoming Performance Anxiety

Understanding and Overcoming Performance Anxiety Anyone who has participated in a competitive sport at any level has likely experienced performance anxiety at one point or another.  We also know that it is not unique to sports.  It also occurs in such activities...

How To Reward Your Child Athlete

How to reward sport performance In the last article, we discussed the importance of focusing on what you can control.  As a parent, coach, or other supporter of a child athlete, it is also important to understand what aspects of a child’s performance should be...

Focus On What You Can Control

Control is never achieved when sought after directly.  It is the surprising outcome of letting go. -James Arthur Ray Focus on What you can Control If you ask an athlete in a particular sport about what their goal is for a given game, the response will be predictable. ...

There Is No “Wrong” In Sports

    Note: This blog post expands on an idea that I originally learned in a USBC Level 1 Coaching Class taught by Tom Little in Conroe, Texas There is No “Wrong” in Sports  The exchange is a familiar one between a young athlete and a coach or parent.  The...