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Coaching Athletes Who Play With Fear Of Losing

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"Can you send me information on how positive coaching affects how certain athletes play to win instead of not to lose? How can coaches help athletes feel good about themselves, have confidence and own that "fighters" mentality? How does a "fighters" attitude translate to team sports and how is it affected by positive (and negative) coaching?"

PCA Response by Lucid Performance's Graham Betchart. Lucid Performance is a PCA Trusted Resource.

Here are 3 tangible tips for positively coaching players so they play to win and be great instead of playing to avoid mistakes and not to lose:

  1. Emphasize process over outcome.

  2. Emphasize and recognize athletes who are action-oriented, with a great attitude and giving maximum effort.

  3. Coach your players to lock into the present moment, focused on what they can control. The only place an athlete can affect an end result is in the present moment. They can’t replay the last play or play the next play before it arrives.

As a coach, if you train a player to do these things, there is no limit to what they can accomplish.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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