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Coaching for Mastery: The ELM Tree Of Mastery Toolkit For Coaches

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Athletes who only focus on the scoreboard might have a hard time staying motivated in the face of a tough opponent or when things are not going their way. That’s why Positive Coaching Alliance recommends coaching athletes to focus on a mastery approach, which leads to a task-orientation to success, helping athletes feel increments of success while developing skills for their sports and other aspects of life.

In the book excerpt found below, PCA Founder Jim Thompson outlines a coaching toolkit for the ELM Tree of Mastery (ELM standing for Effort, Learning, and Mistakes are OK). This toolkit contains six steps for successful implementation of ELM.

The first step is for coaches to introduce and reinforce the ELM Tree of Mastery message to their athletes. Coaches play an integral role in convincing athletes to adopt the ELM approach while seeing a pro and big-time college sports entertainment industry so focused on winning.

The second step is for coaches to introduce a mistake ritual, to help athletes recover quickly. Focusing on effort goals and tasks rather than scoreboard winning means that athletes can feel comfortable trying new things and failing at first. For athletes to do that, they need coaches who walk the talk in terms of Mistakes being OK and helping athletes move past them.

The rest of the steps, outlined in further detail in the excerpt below, are:

  • Make effort goals a part of your team culture
  • Improve performance with stretch goals
  • Maximize effort by rewarding unsuccessful effort
  • Using targeted symbolic rewards.

This PDF was excerpted from Jim Thompson’s book The Power of Double-Goal Coaching. To purchase the entire book, and to learn more about other PCA books, click here.

These books are used in PCA’s live workshops. To learn more about our interactive coach workshops, click here.

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  • Type: PDF Document
  • Size: 242 KB
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