5 Coaching Tips for Creating a Big Game Mentality
Learning to develop the proper mentality needed for the biggest games of your season is something that can't be done overnight.
It takes training session after training session, preaching and absorbing the proper work ethic, cultivating the right mindset, and visualizing your goals if you want to become the best of the best.
Here are 5 tips for creating the big game mentality your team needs to take home top honors.
1. Create Team Culture
If you want to fight for a championship, reach a tournament final, or win your league, it all starts at the beginning of your season and hinges on the kind of team culture you work to create.
To develop a big game mentality, there has to be a culture and atmosphere created between players where fun can be had, it is a game after all, but the ultimate letter of the law is that all players are in the team to compete and contribute to the greater shared goals of the team.
2. Demand Focus
It doesn't matter what level you play or coach at, it is imperative that you demand focused practice during every training session if you ever want to win a big game.
Creating the space for levity and humor is important for a successful team, it can be one of the most important ingredients, but there have to be clear boundaries as to when the team can have a laugh, and when it's time to get down to business.
3. Eyes on The Prize
If you want to rule the roost, there have to be clear, vocalized, goals for your team. It's important to take the season one game at a time and not get ahead of yourselves, but it's also equally important to dream big and either write down or verbalize the championship you want to win, or the Cup you want to lift.
If the team has a shared goal, then the hard work, pain and sweat that is needed to achieve a championship is easier for players to swallow and buy in to.
4. Collective Belief
Make sure your entire community of players and parents believe in your team goals, it's critical that the starters, substitutes, coaches, managers, everybody that acts as spokes for the wheel that is your team, all share a common vision of what the team can achieve.
When your team finds itself in the enjoyable spot of playing for a title, you'll be much better equipped to come out victorious if the energy and attitude of all involved is positive and confident.
5. Visualize the Endgame
Incorporating some basic visualization techniques into your team talk is a great way to handle the stress and intensity of a big game, try gathering the players, have them close there eyes, take a few deep breaths, and then visualize how amazing winning a title will feel.
Painting this picture of success in the mind prior to an important contest, or during half-time, is a great way to create the big game mentality needed to become a champion.