Six tools to help coaches improve, too

Volunteer coach Rashad Wilson explains an offensive playing during the Boston Raiders football practice in Dorchester, Massachusetts on November 16, 2012.
Volunteer Rashad Wilson coaches Boston Raiders football practice.Credit: The Boston Globe

Tips for coaches

 Recovering from mistakes: Establish a ritual allowing athletes to mentally “reset” for the next play after making a mistake. One example is The Flush, a toilet-flushing motion that tells a player to flush away the error and move on.

Setting “stretch goals”: Encourage players to improve in one specific area over a

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period of time. In baseball, it might be consistently hitting the outside pitch to the

opposite field; in soccer, increasing the distance of a goal kick by 10 yards.

Creating symbolic rewards: Reward hustle with a symbolic prize. For instance, a Dirty Shirt Award given to the player who showed the most grit but was not necessarily the star.

 Developing a 2-minute drill: Pick a time in a game or practice when the team’s energy normally flags and amp up your positivity level. Keep the communication totally upbeat for a few minutes and save the criticism for later.

 Practicing a self-control routine: When aggravated, pause and take a deep breath. Turn away from the field to refocus. Count backward from 100.

 Coaching parents to “honor the game”: Where appropriate, appoint one or more parents as “Culture Keeper” responsible for maintaining sideline decorum. JOSEPH P. KAHN

Source: “The Power of Double-Goal Coaching,” by PCA founder Jim Thompson