Insight from the Coach’s Corner

Six years ago I realized what coaching was all about.  It is not all about the X’s and O’s. It is about giving players something to believe, an opportunity to grow as a person and as an athlete. Once I realized this and started implementing bits and pieces of our puzzle it was rewarding to see the positive changes that were both immediate and developing.  Now we (coaches and players alike) are a much more focused, determined group who are more often than not on the same page in how we want to move forward, problem solve and achieve our collective goals and objectives.

What is attitude, define it.

 Attitude- How you respond to circumstances and/or events. It is what you think. To act or react in a certain way.
 You do not inherit your attitude.  You choose your attitude.
 You can alter your life if you are willing to alter your attitude.
We shape our attitudes. Exposures, Experiences, Thoughts

In simple terms your attitude is what you say when you talk to yourself. Attitude is always a “player” on your team. Attitude is not everything, but it is the main thing that affects everything. You are your own weatherperson. You decide if you will have a sunny or a rainy day.

In teaching this program, we have seven steps to our success. We take 30-45 minutes during camp to go over each point. Each evening during meetings our student-athletes and coaches participate in various lectures, activities and group meetings to work through the steps and how to apply that day’s topic in daily life.  We use situations, scenarios and activities so our student-athletes can practice how to make these changes a reality on the field, in the classroom and in everyday life.  Then we spend time during the rest of the year reviewing, typically only a few minutes a week, just enough to keep it on the front burner for all of us.  The seven steps we utilize are as follows:

1. Proper Beginning- Find way to start your day off positively, laugh, music etc… Do something to make you smile in the morning.
2. Humor- Better attitude starts the moment you lighten up.
3. Toughness- Be a competitor  in life
4. Respect- Make people feel important. Look for the good in people.
5. Feed the Mind- Feed the mind daily, read, write, watch and listen. We determine what goes in our mind.
6. Respond rather than react- respond is positive, react is negative. You have the choice.
7. Gratitude- shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. It reminds you what is important.

Some of you are thinking “I do not have time for this; I have to teach this offensive play or that defensive stunt, we have to be ready for team X on thus and such a day.” What I will tell you is that until you have a strong, positive, consistent attitude on your team, one that players have been taught how to utilize, you are teaching football, not young men.  Most of us got into coaching because we love our sport; we stay in coaching because we enjoy working with student-athletes.  We want to impact the lives of our team members through the sport we love.  In my experience, to do that you have to teach positive attitude, it does not come naturally to all, and it must be nurtured in those who have a natural inclination towards it.  I have listed below a few reasons why I think you should teach attitude to your team.
Why teach attitude to your team.
1. You become a difference maker in their lives as a coach.
2. You are proactive in limiting problems before they happen.
3. Players understand they are responsible for their attitude, actions, and habits.
4. Players will have direction in their lives: they are in charge of their life.
5. Players will exhibit poise under pressure.
6. To teach respect, and appreciate and understand diversity, “the edge that makes us champions”.
7. To be a servant leader, “from what we get, we can make a living.  From what we give, makes a life”.

In conclusion, I realize we are all on a time budget, we are all under pressure to win games, but I will ask you this question.  Are you being the coach you wanted to be when you started your career?  If not, why not?  Why are you waiting to take the steps necessary to be that coach?  Start small, see if you notice the differences in yourself, your staff or your team, then make more changes, implement more steps or go back to what you were doing if that worked better for you.  The point being, we are all looking for the one thing that makes a difference in the lives of our athletes, this could be that one thing for your team.

If you or anyone on staff has questions about our attitude training program feel free to contact us at UW-Platteville. Mike Emendorfer emendorm@uwplatt.edu or 608.342.1801

Mike Emendorfer
Head Football Coach
UW-Platteville
Platteville WI, 53818
608.342.1801
emendorm@uwplatt.edu
Visit our web site: http://athletics.uwplatt.edu/sports/fball/index

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