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Relationships and mind games Liam Clemons Head Coach Boys’ Cross Country Boys’ & Girls’ Distance Trabuco Hills High School The Mental.

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Presentation on theme: "Relationships and mind games Liam Clemons Head Coach Boys’ Cross Country Boys’ & Girls’ Distance Trabuco Hills High School The Mental."— Presentation transcript:

1 Relationships and mind games Liam Clemons Head Coach Boys’ Cross Country Boys’ & Girls’ Distance Trabuco Hills High School The Mental Coach

2 A Strong start All starts with good communication skills LISTEN!!!!! Good communication leads to a less stressful environment. Being able to express needs, feelings, and opinions will make my athletes feel more relaxed and comfortable in a group setting. They will go into races feeling like they have had all of their questions answered. Then, they focus better on the task at hand.

3 The goal Obviously we want to win We can’t win if we are not prepared Communication is essential to preparation I have found that my teams perform best when they feel like they are well prepared and can confidently set out to achieve their collective goal. The state championship teams I had in 2006 and 2011 were very confident groups. They felt like they were in control of a race no matter who they were racing. They prepared to control the pace and tactics in practice every day. When they lined up at the start of a race they were confident that they would execute their plan and control the variables in that race. This outlook led to them achieving levels of performance that exceeded their goals.

4 Trust Trust is essential to good communication How to gain an athlete's trust: Take a real interest in their lives Be Honest Be a chameleon Explain your workouts and philosophy Give good feedback Be consistent Love

5 Service What does service mean? All athletes, to some extent, want to perform for their coach Coaches should want to perform for their athletes Create a culture of service I try to avoid using the word “my” when talking about the athletes I coach. I tell them that they do not run for me... I coach for them. I try to convey a message that we are at our best when we serve others. I want them to run in the service of each other.

6 Mentorship, not friendship They can be your friend when they graduate college No Facebook friends Coaches are like older siblings in the least, but usually more like a parent Honor that responsibility My personal mantras: Always be teaching Coach the athlete, not the sport

7 Now that you've got their attention... Time to play mind games Mind games = mental skills training and mental toughness My goal is to toughen them up Think like a Jedi and Talk like one too Trick them into running fast

8 Mental toughness Start with visualization in a quiet environment Walk them through a race or the last mile Talk about the smells and sounds Use some distractions to test their focus level Keep them in the moment After running hundreds of miles, a three-mile race does not sound as difficult. Similarly, after learning to focus and imagine your race with a high level of control and vividness, the athlete is better prepared to focus on race day.

9 The biggest trick of all... Teaching them how to calm down and gain self control under pressure. Methods: Routines Centering exercises Breathing Segmentation Key is to learn that you can only control yourself. Don't worry about what you can't control.

10 Connecting mental and physical toughness - Pain Threshold What is it? Extreme core work designed to push their pain tolerance level higher. Long planks Quarter downs Long leg lifts Cross Fit routines * “Most of the time, the guy that wins isn't faster, he is just more stubborn” – Bob King, Del Campo HS


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