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Motivating Your Players to Higher Levels

I recently watched a lecture by Ed Tseng at a coaching clinic from last year. If you have never heard of him, he is a motivational psychologist (or Mental Trainer) that specializes in athletics.
Below are a few highlights from his lecture that I absolutely loved:
  • Some days your players may only be able to give you 70%…it’s going to happen. As long as they give you 100% effort of that 70% that’s all you can ask.
  • FOCUSFollow One Course Until Successful
  • Focus on the PRESENT moment…if you’re focusing on the past or what could be in the future, you won’t succeed.
  • Pillow Test: Tell your players when they go home at night and they lay their head down on their pillows, do they want to say to themselves, “Glad I Did” or “Wish I Did” ? There is a HUGE difference!
  • Adversity causes some men to break…and other men to break RECORDS!
  • 4-8-8 breathing technique to relax your players: Breathe in deeply through the nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 8 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.
  • Better to go all in and lose than to hold back and win!
  • Don’t try your best…DO WHATEVER IT TAKES!
  • When you focus on something blue, it’s hard to focus on something yellow…When you focus on something negative it’s hard to focus on something positive. FOCUS on the POSITIVES!!
  • Recommended doing Simon-Says exercises often to start practices when you feel the team is lacking energy. Increases energy level and makes them release other things they’re thinking about that day.
Also told a story that I thought was very powerful, went something like this:
There was a kid playing in college basketball walk-on who never played in a single game, ever! So his senior year, right before the last game of the season, the players’ father passed away. The head coach called in the player, whom we will call Donnie, and said, “Donnie, I want you to go home…be with your family, if there is anything we can do for you please tell me”. Donnie responded, “Coach please just say a prayer for my dad before the game, that’s all I can ask right now”. Donnie went home and a few days later just before the last game of season was to tip-off Donnie walked in all dressed out. The coach said, “Donnie what are you doing here? I told you to go home..I promised we would pray for your dad tonight before the game”. Donnie responded, “I know, I need one more favor…I want to start tonight”. The coach replied “But Donnie you havent played in a game your entire career”. Donnie then replied back, “Coach you said anything, Please!”.
So the coach let him start and Donnie went out and had the game of his life, scoring 23 points. After the game the coach called Donnie aside and said, “Have I been this blind for 4 years that I didn’t see your potential and should have been playing you?”. Donnie replied, “Coach, have you ever met my dad?” Coach replied, “No Im sorry I was never so fortunate”. Donnie said “Coach, my dad never got to see me play a game my entire life….he was blind…tonight was the first time that he ever got to see me play!”
Very powerful message to give to your players that when they are given a chance to play that they must make the most of it. Regardless if it is 1 game, 1 minute, or 30 seconds…that time could mean the difference in winning or losing.


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about rick torbett

Rick Torbett has taught thousands of coaches to win more games through his innovative approach to the game. He has created powerful training for coaches at any level so they can coach their best and win more games.

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Read & React 5-Player Coordination Drills

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