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Coaching and Managing Sports Teams: Seven Sure Fire Tips for Success

1. Create a positive learning environment � encourage your players to learn new shots, try new strategies, and take more risks. Coaches create positive learning environments by focusing on what their players are doing well and building on that.

2. Eliminate sarcasm from your delivery style - do not make fun of or embarrass your players. Sarcasm and public displays of criticism are negative. Negativity breeds anger, resentment, and frustration. These emotions and feelings create stress which can lead to injury, illness, and defeat not to mention players, particularly young athletes, never wanting to play sports again.

3. Focus on the process - take the focus off of winning or losing. Focusing on the outcome creates a tense, uncomfortable, and ineffective environment. Focus on the moment. The most important point, or shot, or play is the next one.

4. Stop negative interactions - players that respond to negative coaching may not allow themselves to win. When players have been reinforced with negative feedback, they may lose just so they can continue to receive negative feedback from the coach. It is a vicious cycle. Break the negative cycle. Get your players to respond to positive feedback.

5. Look for players who can accept positive feedback and compliments. Individuals who accept positive feedback and are able to say �thank you� after receiving a compliment are more likely to perform when it counts. Teach your players to accept accolades.

6. Do not focus on �mistakes�. Focus on what your players are doing well. Compliment your players when they attempt shots or executive strategies that have been worked on during practices and lessons. Comment on the positive: �I like the way you did �...� Correct misses by saying, �I�d really like you to try �..� This type of dialogue and delivery will heighten your players� interest and increase your players� motivation.

7. Act calm and confident. Have a calm tone of voice, speak softer and slower, and smile. What you say and how you say it will either make your players stronger and self confident or weaker and fearful. Take a look at your coaching style. Commit to being a good role model for your athletes.

These seven tips will help you create teams that have more fun, learn more easily, and win more often.

Submitted by:

Anne Smith, Ph.D.

Anne Smith, Ph.D. Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved.

Anne Smith, Ph.D., the only tennis player in history who has won 10 Grand Slam championships and earned a doctorate, works with athletes, coaches, and parents who want to develop a prescription for how to win. Dr. Smith is the author of two books titled GRAND SLAM: Coach Your Mind to Win in Sports, Business, and Life and MACH 4TM Mental Training System: A Handbook for Athletes, Coaches, and Parents.



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