Mental Toughness for coaches in running your program

In addition to being able to bring out and focus the direction and efforts of the mental toughness of your players, a coach must also have the mental toughness not only to make the right strategic decisions at the right time during a pressure filled game, but also to endure the daily pressures of coaching. Mental toughness for coaches involves a lot more than just thinking clearly during the game.

Mental Toughness tips for coaches:

1) Most players are not going to display the same mental toughness as adults. You have to work to remember what it was like to be their age, regardless of what age group you coach. I believe that it is important to set high expectations in your program, but I also think that it is essential to understand that developmentally, even college age players are not on the same level that an adult is regarding mental toughness. And, not only to realize it, but to keep it at the forefront of your mind as you run your program.

“Good work habits help develop an inner toughness and a self confident attitude
that will sustain you through every adversity and temporary discouragement.”
–Phil Jackson

2) Gasoline or water? John Maxwell writes and speaks to leaders in all walks of life. One of his ideas is that as a leader, we carry two buckets every time we go to put out a fire in any area of your life–one contains gasoline, the other contains water. If we choose to make the situation a personal confrontation, blow it out of proportion, immediately seek to make it a win-lose, place blame, or mishandle it in any other number of ways, we are pouring gasoline on the fire. If we choose to use our bucket of water to de-escalate the problem, we are improving our ability to effectively handle the current situation and also building our skills to handle the next one. John’s message is for us simply to be consciously aware of which bucket we are using and the affect is has on our ability to lead. Coaches are leasers and must have the mental toughness to pour water on the fires.

3) Make mental toughness a part of your personal growth plan. We can’t give something to our teams that we don’t have ourselves. In my mind, part of being mentally tough is realizing that we all have weaknesses and that we have improvements to make, even on our strengths. Having the mental strength to accept that fact and go to work on improving our own mental toughness is essential.

This is an extract from Mental Toughness by Coach Brian Williams, click here to find out more.


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