The following content is provided by Glazier Drive
Coach Adam Mathieson is a football coach and athletic director. We believe that his message is applicable to all programs and all sports.
The following content is provided by Glazier Drive
Coach Adam Mathieson is a football coach and athletic director. We believe that his message is applicable to all programs and all sports.
This post was provided by Complete Track and Field, a collection of great coaching resources for every track and field event.
Most track teams incorporate athletes from other sports. What are the important factors to consider when planning workouts for athletes coming from other sports.
By Marc Mangiacotti
Coach Mangiacotti is an assistant coach with the Harvard Crimson. He oversees the men’s sprinters and hurdles for Harvard, as well as serving as the recruiting coordinator.
Often, at the high school level, it is common for coaches to persuade their athletes to join the track and field team after finishing up their preferred fall or winter sport. Likely, the main goal for encouraging an athlete to go out for the track team – or the objective for an athlete transitioning to track & field – is to “stay active,” “develop speed/power,” or “get stronger for the next season.”
Though not as common at the collegiate level there are times when individuals express interest in becoming dual sport athletes. Participating in two sports in college is not impossible but it takes a special type of athlete to accomplish this, especially at the professional level.
Indoor track & field programs usually add athletes that are coming off of football, soccer, volleyball or field hockey. Spring programs usually pick up athletes from basketball and swimming. Although similarities can be drawn from all types of athletic training, track and field training is more specific in structure considering the multiple events, training cycles and the number of weeks within each season.
* Training Resource: Advanced 400m Training Concepts
There are a few questions I ask myself when I adopt an athlete from another sport:
1) What types of training has the athlete been exposed to over the last few months?
2) What types of training are missing from the athlete’s workouts that relate to their track & field event?
3) Does this athlete understand the concept of a team sport versus an individual sport?
Most fall sports consist of lots of acceleration bursts with shorter recoveries like we see in football, soccer, and field hockey. Therefore, if the athlete is a short sprinter or a jumper they have been checking a lot of the energy system requirements for these event groups. There may be less energy system adjustments that need to be made, however, more focus may need to be on some of the technical aspects of the events.
* Coaching Recourse:
These athletes coming off of a football, soccer or field hockey season just want to be “quick.” These athletes will naturally spin out of the blocks as they try to be as “quick” as possible. This is when I think of the quote by Jedi Master Yoda, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” It will be paramount to get these athletes relearn the feel of proper acceleration— which may not always feel “quick.”
“It takes patience to run fast in track & field.”
– Vince Anderson
These same athletes usually run low. I call them “low riders” because they drop their hips while sprinting. This is usually carried over from sports like soccer, basketball, and field hockey because the athletes are concerned with the protection of the almighty ball that is in play. It will also be important to help these athletes transition to a world where it is crucial to keep the hips up and run tall.
“Posture is the first most important aspect of speed.”
– Tom Tellez
If you have a triple jumper coming off of basketball then this athlete has been exposed to some good training and lots of vertical jumping. It will be necessary to introduce the feeling of horizontal jumps. The last thing you would want is for the athlete to feel vertical off of the board in the triple jump. This phase has way more of a horizontal component and feeling that probably has not been part of their daily routine in basketball.
“Create as much horizontal displacement as possible at take off in the triple jump.”
The piece that is often forgotten or is never introduced to new athletes is the mental transition from a true team sport to an individual sport. The “player” is used to having teammates around to push them and help make up for any mistakes. Seriously…if I am playing football and I miss a tackle there are ten other guys on the field that can help back me up. However, if I come down the runway in the long jump and foul…that is no ones fault, but my own and everybody knows it.
“Track & Field is the ultimate athletic event. There are football players, basketball players, tennis players but we are track & field athletes.”
– Paul Souza
* Training Resource:
Coaches need to make sure there is a team aspect to various practices so the multi sports athlete feels that they are being pushed and in a familiar practice environment. It will also be important for the coach to help the multi sport athlete to understand the focus on one’s self during the individual events. A lack of understanding of the individual feeling of an event will certainly lead to failure. These types of athletes will need a little bit of a team feeling with a new sense of individual awareness and focus.
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This article first appeared on The Coaches Network. (Reposted with Permission)
Core values are the foundation of what you do and why you do it. They are anchoring principles that ground you to what’s really important and guide you toward success. They are what you stand for no matter what your circumstances may be or what your win/loss record is. Core values serve as a guide because they are non-negotiable. They serve as the essence of what your program stands for and they are expected to be shared by everyone. Core values are central to your program and the decisions leaders make should revolve around them.
As a coach and leader, developing and communicating core values begins and ends with you. However, because core values are central to team success and character development, it is vital to involve your team in determining them, making them visible, emphasizing them, and using them as a guide for your program’s daily decisions and actions.
To begin defining your program’s core values, consider the following categories of core values. Have a meeting with your team and staff. Ask yourself and your team: What do we value about …
Being People of Strong Character
Effort and Commitment
Having a Positive and Productive Attitude
Being a Good Teammate
As you discuss and work through defining your core values, give your team a chance to share or write down their responses to the previous question(s) and write them out on a white board, chalk board, or poster board. Once the responses are written down, place them into three categories:
Stay: The majority of the group agrees the value is important and will be a core value.
Example: “RESPONSIBILITY: We will be responsible for our actions. No excuses!”
Combine: Two or more values that are similar can be merged into one, overarching value.
Example: Poise and maturity can be combined into “COMPOSURE: We will control our emotions and decisions on and off the field.”
Cut: The majority of the team agrees that the idea does not have enough relevance or support to be a core value.
Once your team has developed five to 10 core values it’s time to put them into action. Here are a few ways to make your team’s core values part of its daily commitment to progress and success.
1. Post your core values in your locker room.
Create a constant reminder of your core values by posting them in the locker room, weight room, and your coaches’ offices. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, only consistently visible.
2. Have every member of your team and staff memorize your core values.
To help embed core values, have your team members and staff memorize the core values. Be sure everyone in the program can recite the core values at a moment’s notice.
3. Emphasize one of your core values with each week.
Make a full week all about one of your core values. Before the first practice of the week, discuss the core value that will be emphasized that week and why it’s important. After each practice that week, recognize those that committed to and best exhibited that core value.
4. Recognize your core values when you see them on and off the field.
Call out your team members and staff when they exemplify the team’s core values. Catch them “doing good” and use them as an example for the entire team. Don’t be afraid to stop practice for a minute to point out how hard someone is working or when someone is being a great teammate.
5. Incorporate your core values in your highlight videos.
Be sure to include core values in your highlight and video sessions. This is a great way to show what your core values look like and to recognize those committed to them. It’s also a great way to show why core values are important even if the result of a play or a game isn’t what you want. These highlights are about doing it right.
It will be easy to stick to your core values when everything is going well. It’s easy to preach core values when your team is winning, everyone is healthy, and team chemistry is good. Sticking to core values becomes more difficult when you’re on a losing streak, you’re faced with setbacks, and your athletes may not be doing the right things on and off the field. As previously mentioned, core values begin and end with you. When you bend and break your core values, you run the risk of losing respect and trust with your team and you send the message that short-cuts are okay. Stick to your core values. They are an invaluable resource to build more mentally tough athletes and develop character in those around you.
Raymond Prior is one of the country’s top peak performance professionals, and has nearly a decade of experience educating athletes and coaches about building mental toughness. Prior works with athletes, teams, and coaches at professional, Olympic, NCAA, amateur, and youth sport levels. His clients include professional athletes, Olympic Gold Medalists, individual and team National Champions, National Coach of the Year Award winners, individual and team Conference Champions, and more than 100 NCAA All-Americans in a variety of sports. For more information on Raymond’s consulting, visit www.rfpsport.com, or contact him by email ([email protected]) or phone (505-235-4486).
This post was provided by the Coaches Toolbox, a collection of free resources for coaches of all sports.
Some good thoughts to share with your entire team.
These two handouts were taken from Ryan Renquist’s “The Notebook of Champions” Building Success One Victory at a Time (Sixth Edition)
A LEADER, LEADS BY EXAMPLE: A leader must be a positive role model at all times. Every word spoken has to be a positive word. Every act he does must be a positive act. A leader can never be negative. He must be a shining example of what it takes to be great.
A LEADER BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN OTHERS: A leader must be the type of person that others want to be like. He has to inspire his teammates to be their very best.
A LEADER IS AN EXTENSION OF THE COACH: Most players are well behaved when the coach is around. However, when the coach is not around, negative things can occur. Any type of negative talk, about the team or another player, is detrimental to the team. A leader does not try to cut corners in any way. He knows what the team and school rules are and does not break them himself, or allow others to break them.
A LEADER IS A HARD WORKER: A leader must enjoy serving others. He must want to do the things that are necessary for a team to have success. A leader is always trying to think of ways he can help improve the team.
A LEADER PUTS THE TEAM FIRST: It is easy to come up with excuses why we can’t get a task done. I hear those excuses all the time. If you want to do something, you can almost always do it. If you don’t want to do something, you can almost always find an excuse so that you don’t have to do it. I want people who I can count on to be there. I want people who are committed to basketball all year – not just during the season.
A LEADER TRULY WANTS TO BE A SERVANT: You can’t fake it, you either want to be a positive servant to your team, or you don’t. The leaders of this team do not have to be the best players. In fact, I think it is neat when someone who isn’t a great player steps up and takes on a leadership role. Your job as a member of this team is to find some way to make a positive contribution to the team. For some that contribution may be providing leadership.
If you think it ever was about you as a leader, you are wrong. Leadership is about others. Great leaders love and care about others more than themselves.
Here are four tips to help you love and care about those you lead. However, let me preface these tips by saying that the most important thing you need to do is not fake caring. Either you really love those you lead or you don’t. If don’t feel it, don’t fake it. Faking it will erode your trust as a leader very quickly. People know when leaders are genuine and when they are not.
1. Serve. There is a positive correlation between serving others and love. The more you serve others, the more you will care for and love them. The more you care and love, the greater desire you will have to serve. It can be as easy as sending a heartfelt card during a tender time in an employee’s life, or doing something nice for their family. There are many opportunities to serve those we lead, we just need to be aware and look for them.
2. Be empathetic. See those you lead as people with needs just like you. I was talking to a colleague of mine the other day who has an employee with a very sick father who lives clear across the country. She can’t afford an airline ticket to see him. This kind and generous leader is going to buy her a ticket so she can see her father, and he is doing it anonymously. He has truly seen those he leads as people just like him that he can reach out and serve.
3. See the positive. Everybody has good in them. The more you think and speak positively of others the more you will care. If you are always seeing the negative; it is difficult to care because those feelings are in direct conflict with caring. Some of you might be saying, “well, that is fine and dandy, but there is negative, and I have to address that too.” And I agree. But look for the positive first and then address the negative because you love that person, not because you are upset or angry.
4. Express it. Now, you don’t need to say “I love you.” That could be construed as something different than what you are trying convey. But telling those you lead that you really do care about them; that you appreciate them, and feeling it as you say it, will increase your love for them. There is a real connection that occurs when you express how you feel genuinely to others.
This article was provided by Coaches Network
In order to take your athletic program to the top, it is important to recognize and understand the steps it takes to get there. Not every coach gets to inherit an elite program, and even if they do, it still takes a lot of work to maintain that level of performance. Coaches play an integral role in developing the type of culture and approach needed for success and should be aware of these five stages of program development.
Jeff Janssen, M.S., of Janssen Sports Leadership Center identifies the five stages as Elite, Rising, Plateauing, Declining, and Problematic. An article on ChampionshipCoachesNetwork.com provides a guide to understanding each of these stages and the steps that you can take to either turn your program around or maintain success at the highest level.
One way to identify an elite program is when the teams are competing for and winning conference, state, and national titles almost every year. Yet, this type of success comes not only from outmatching opponents but also from developing a culture that pushes athletes to keep improving, both in sports and in life. This requires a coach with passionate leadership, great communication skills, and an expert understanding of the sport.
“An Elite Program is well-developed on many levels, has a strong pipeline of talent, and a well-defined culture of success that attracts athletes, coaches, and support staff with like-minded goals,” writes Janssen. “The Elite Program knows exactly what it stands for and…rewards people accordingly.”
Before your program can become elite, it must rise through the ranks. That means improving every year. Recognizing opportunities to improve is a major part of any coach’s job and addressing any shortcomings is what will take your program to the next level. Coaches should work closely with their captains and their leadership core in order to build a solid foundation of success and establish a positive culture. By setting short-term and long-term goals, your program will be in a better position to thrive.
“There is a strong sense of optimism, energy, and enthusiasm in and around the program, which creates a positive momentum,” Janssen write. “People are attracted to a Rising Program, expectations are high, and the outlook is favorable as the program continues to improve.”
If your program seems stuck in place, with each season ending with similar results, than it is likely plateauing. While consistency can be a virtue, athletes will never reach their full potential if they are not motivated to win at the highest level. The result is secondary, but the motivation to get better is at the heart of all athletics. Coaches who feel their program is plateauing should reassess their approach to leadership. Surrounding yourself with other motivated leaders who bring a different perspective than your own is also essential to moving a program in the right direction.
“Thus, the challenges either must be addressed internally by making some meaningful changes and improvements,” writes Janssen. “Or the situation can be solved externally by upgrading to a more talented and credible leader who has the skills to help the program breakthrough to the next level.”
It’s easy to identify a declining program. The results and the records at the end of the season will clearly show it. But, more importantly, declining programs often suffer from low morale and a lack of confidence among athletes, coaches, and those who support the team.
“Most often the slide is gradual as the program fades slowly out of contention,” Janssen writes. “Other times the fall is precipitous like dropping off a cliff. Whatever the case, there is almost always a certain frustration surrounding the program. This leads many to bemoan the problems and blame those who they think are responsible for them, usually the leaders.”
Instead of blaming others, turn your declining program around by instilling confidence in your athletes. Creating a positive culture that recognizes hard work and applauds athletes for their success, whether in training or in competition, is a major step to getting a struggling program back on the right track. It’s not enough to relay on winning. Coaches need to inspire their athletes regardless of the team’s record.
“A Problematic Program is one that is highly dysfunctional and often in total disarray,” writes Janssen. “This could occur for a variety of reasons including an overbearing or overwhelmed coach, athletes with dubious character, double standards within the team, little communication, mind games, meddling parents… the list goes on and on.”
Regardless of the reason for a program’s problems, coaches need to be the leaders of change and must work with those around them to make it happen. Instead of allowing constant negativity to build up and discourage your athletes and colleagues, try taking small steps to improve morale. A shift in attitude and outlook is essential. Though it might take time, every program has a chance to succeed. Set an example with your work ethic and your passion so that those around you will stop blaming others and start looking at themselves to improve.