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Tip of the week #9

Posted Saturday, February 14, 2009 by Cliff Hedges
Tip of the Week #9  (MENTAL GAME)

Hello Ladies, this week we will focus on what may be the most important tip of the week,
Mental Lessons of a Champion:  We often focus so much on the physical aspects of the game that we forget to work on the mental aspects.  Mental tounghness is the "x-factor" the difference between a good team and a great team, the difference between making it to a championship game and winning the championship game.  Theres are many books, articles ect. that discuss the mental edge.  I am going to focus on the following:

Positive Attitude:  Every coach has their own style, you have already learned this.  However, we maintain that an overall positive coaching style is the most effective.  Postive attitudes breads Confidence and Believe.

Confidence:  is on of the most important attributes that a player can have, regardless  of wheather they are the best player on the team, or one that hardly sees the field.  When a player has confidence, it is almost as if they can achieve anything. BUT, when a player-no matter who it is- lacks confidence, it creates a downward spiral of effects.  One mistake will turn into twenty mistakes.  The player will start to get frustrated, put her head down, and maybe even start to yell at teammates. All of her teammates can see it in her face and get nervous. What will she do now? Maybe I shouldn't throw her the ball"  The team almost starts to play a man down.

Belief:  If players have confindence in themselves, it allows them to believe.  It allows them to believe in themselves and in your team. When your team starts to believe in each other and in themselves, there is no stopping them.   Regardless of wheather you are the best team or the worst team, if you believe, you will be able to accomplish things that you never thought possible. It sould not be the coach who has a positive attitude and builds confindence.  The goal is to get to a point where your team does it by themselves.  A teammate is one of the most influential people on the field.  A compliment or encouragement from a teammate is just as effective as on from the coach

Unity: Sometimes a positive attiude and believe can UNITE a team. However, the mind is a funny thing and it is easy for players to behing to forget what they are doing and why.  I recommend creating a theme for our team. Something simple, but something that whe thought of or said, brings to mind what the team is about.  It has a deeper meaning to your team and is aconstant motivation.  This theme will serve as a way to unite our team and get us all playing for a shared reason.  Some ideas could come from * WHAT ARE OUR TEAMS CORE VALUES? HARD WORK? BEING SMART ON THE FIELD?  WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT THEN THE OTHER TEAMS?

Use what we have:  Every team is different and every year is different. We will be a totally new team without some of the Srs. from Last year, but that is ok.  It is important to acknowledge from the get gothta some things have changed and some things will be done differnenlty from year to year.   Each year, it is important to find out what is UNIQUE about our team.  The team will be different, new players and new leaders. Realize tht it will be different and find our team's uniqueness from the beginning. Little things: Every single person on the team can control certain things, like effort and hard work. 

Lastly:  Learn to Appreciate The Moments.
Above all else, HAVING FUN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT.   The season is short, we must learn to enjoy each and everyday.  For some of our SRS. they will go onto play in College, and some will chose not too.  I want you all regardless of your grade in school to be able to look back at your lacrosse days at South Hadley as one of if not the most rewarding times in your High School career. 

30 days to go girls.   Have a great vacation.  Coach Hedges.

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