Coach Doc Connection Articles

Promote Multisport Participation in Your Coaching

We now live in an age where it is common to see young athletes being pushed to play a single sport year-round. David Leadbetter, coach of the world’s most dominant golfer Lydia Ko, recently shared that her family decided at age 5 she was going to be a golfer. It’s hard to argue with the results. At 17 Ko became the youngest golfer, of either gender, to be ranked #1 in the world and is the first woman golf player to earn at least $2 million in prize money each of her first three years on tour. No sport or...

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Keeping Bench Players ‘In the Game’

I have yet to meet a competitive athlete – any age or sport – who relishes sitting on the bench. In fact, excessive time as a second or third stringer can be frustrating and demotivating, and is a primary reason athletes lose their passion for the sport if not their interest in playing at all. Yet, the rules of every sport limit how many athletes can participate in the competition at one time. And it is rare that an athlete will not play a reserve role at some point in her or his athletic career. Indeed, for some, serving as...

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Coaching Mental Toughness: From Red Bull to Bob Bowman

Athletes perform best when they learn how to effectively handle competitive pressure. This is most evident in defining moments of important competitions when the consequences of mistakes are highest. Failure in these moments can often be traced to a lack of confidence, resulting in poor decision-making. The most successful performers aren’t shackled by fear of failure or self-doubt. They embrace challenges and thrive when the pressure is on because their coaches create practices that regularly expose them to risk and failure. Coaches like Urban Meyer, who after leading college football teams to three national championships shared that “if it doesn’t challenge...

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Become a More Resilient Coach

The ability to bounce back from the many setbacks that coaches inevitably experience during a long season and over the course of several seasons is a sign of resilience. Resilience is about much more than enduring the rough patches in coaching; it involves handling those tough situations with resolve and reserve. Accordingly, veteran coaches who demonstrate resilience are often described as highly disciplined, confident, and optimistic problem-solvers. A useful combination of qualities for any coach. It is no surprise then that coaches who recognize the value of resilience in sport seek out athletes who demonstrate this attribute. A legendary Hall...

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After 22 NCAA Titles and a World Cup Championship: Winning Lessons from Anson Dorrance

In working with US Olympic and national team coaches I have a unique opportunity to interact with some of the most successful figures in the profession. One such coach is Anson Dorrance, the winningest team sport coach in collegiate history with 22 national titles and a 92% winning percentage in the past 36 years coaching the University of North Carolina’s women’s soccer team. Coach Dorrance also guided the US national women’s soccer team to the inaugural women’s World Cup championship in 1991. Last week I participated in a session with him and this is what I learned. 1. Constantly grow as...

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