This tip from Bob Palmer, high performance expert with SportExcel, is for athletes of any age who have a desire to win, and need to take charge of the direction of their training. It is especially for athletes in the face of situations where the coach might be a bully, disinterested, distracted by their cell phone or playing favorites, etc.
There is something you can do so that they don’t ruin your year or your career. That’s because, in most cases, the coach may only need a nudge from you to make positive changes. Most coaches are simply doing the best job they can. They may be technically superb, but teaching/coaching is a skill and a very specific skill that they may not have. So you have to help them, just a little. No one has told you that before, I’m sure!
Now, quite literally, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. On your team or in your club, you may just be getting less attention because you are not squeaking loudly enough. The trouble in sports is that you’ll get put off the team if you squeak and bother the coach, so this is not an option.
There is another way. One of my clients found that way by making himself indispensable. He had to, as he was always cut because his coaches picked taller players with less skill. So, by design, he became the spark plug for any team he played on. He set himself up to be the motivator, the dynamo, the instigator. If he wasn’t playing, the team played poorly. If he was playing, the team was fired up and played well.
He learned to trigger his own passion and that of his teammates. He even learned to trigger the passion of his coach. Yes, when he played, his coach coached better. And he has rehearsed this role over and over and over, especially in situations where he really needed it, such as where his team fell behind in score.
The result is that he consistently makes the team, consistently plays well and now he has the opportunity to play at the highest levels. And he is not done yet.
You too, have to find your Zone – you have to rehearse it in all game situations over and over and you have to be able to get it back fast if you lose it. Build that Zone and you’ll drive your team and be indispensable to your coach.
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