December 16, 2008
Winning the Mental Way Part III by Karlene Sugarman
Here is part III of this interesting artilce on how to win "mentally"…
Clear communication will also lend itself to sound problem-solving skills. If you avoid conflict it can lead to more serious problems. Confrontations are a part of sports - if a team is to improve, it will face changes and adversity. Conflict tends to grow out of mistrust and unresolved issues. Effective problem solving has to start from a foundation of mutual trust as well as a common desire to improve. You need to:
• Recognize and agree on the problem(s) - One person may think the problem is one thing, while the other person may think it is something totally different. Think about what you are going to say before you say it, don't let your emotions do all the talking.
• Describe the situation - Talk about any patterns surrounding this problem and go over it in detail. You also need to determine what seems to be the cause of the problem. Many times, problems between coaches and players have to do with the interpretation of a behavior. They both interpret it differently and until they communicate the differences there will continue to be problems. If you are wrong, admit it sincerely. Let the person know you have a strong desire to understand their position.
• Brainstorm ideas - Together discuss different ways that you feel this can be dealt with and collectively come up with a way to try and resolve it. Be specific, concise and just talk about the facts.
• Take the appropriate action and evaluate progress - Take the necessary steps to try and deal with this and together evaluate progress intermittently. (
The need for regular performance feedback must be established. Having continuous feedback will help the proper behavior/actions become a habit. Sharing feedback is something players may shy away from at first because it may seemingly leave them vulnerable. Keep this in mind when players come to you. Feedback directs behavior and increases motivation. The player will feel competence through this process. Give explanations for the corrections, and then listen to what the athlete is expressing to you regarding the feedback.
Check back next week for the final chapter of "Winning the Mental Way."