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Helping Athletes Find A Higher Gear

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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.

"What can I say or do to help the players I coach realize that they have a higher gear and then get them to kick into that higher gear in practices and games?”

PCA Response By Will Jackson, PCA Trainer – Atlanta
You’ve posed one of coaching’s most fundamental questions! To paraphrase: “How do I get the very best out of my athletes every day so that they can be prepared to succeed in the crunch-time of games?” Good coaches obviously develop long-range goals and objectives for their teams, but the best ones reach those goals with daily plans for one-step-at-a-time improvements for their kids. (Remember the old joke “How do you eat an elephant?” Keep reading…)

One way to pursue the one-step-at-a-time approach to getting athletes into that higher gear is to focus on a WIN (“What’s Important Now”). That helps players stay motivated and challenged by each day’s objectives and drills. The coach can design realistic challenges and practice drills so that hard work and upbeat attitudes can lead to success.

Improvement—and enjoyment of the process—come from progressive steps of challenge and success. Mistakes and even temporary failure are going to happen occasionally along the way, but even those bumps become “wins” when players learn to bounce back and resume their pursuit of goals.

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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