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Game Prep: Nerves And The Big Game

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This resource is from a case study in Jim Thompson’s (@JimThompson18) book, The Power of Double-Goal Coaching.

Nerves and the Big Game: All week long you’ve had trouble getting your athletes to focus. You think they are nervous about their upcoming competition against a powerful, undefeated team. You have a few minutes with your athletes before the competition starts to get them ready to compete. As a Double-Goal Coach®, what can you say?

Your goal is to prepare them to compete at their best. If the other team has more talent, victory on the scoreboard may not be realistic. On the other hand, a team playing to its fullest potential can often surprise.

At times like these, when the stakes seem high, the most committed Double-Goal Coach may be tempted to focus on a scoreboard win. Resist that temptation. You’ll get better scoreboard results if you re-emphasize the ELM Tree with your players before a big game. “I know you’d like to win today. So would I, but let’s keep our focus on the ELM Tree, which gives us the best chance to win. Leave everything you have out on the field. Keep learning things that will make us better. Flush your mistakes, and focus on the next play. If we do, we’ll be winners no matter what the score is at the end.”

To read the full response, including four action items for you to use as a coach when your athletes appear nervous, download the book excerpt found below.

To purchase the entire book The Power of Double-Goal Coaching, 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 workshops for coaches, click here.

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