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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

PEAK PERFORMANCE DOWN THE HOME STRETCH


Another great newsletter from the Texas A&M men's basketball staff and Coach Mitch Cole.  If you have already, you need to sign up for it -- each edition is outstanding. Simply email Coach Cole at Mitch Cole mcole@athletics.tamu.edu and ask him to put you on the list.  Here are the Aggie thoughts on peak performance as we head down This time of year, everyone is searching for the best ways to get their teams to play at peak performance in February/March. Every staff asks the questions:

What is the best way to prepare our players for a late season run? What is our strategy if our team is favored and playing well?…Or what if our team is the overwhelming underdog? What approach is best when our team is inconsistent, good one game and poor the next? 

The following are a few concepts that are some helpful reminders to stress to our players in February, regardless of where our teams rank in the standings:

1.EMBRACE "THE MOMENT"

This month is the reason you (the player) work so hard in the off-season. Don't have a mindset of "I can't wait for the off-season." You are working for February (and March) when you spend countless hours in an empty gym the other 10 months of the year. Stay in the moment. The time is now! 

2."TRUST" THE PROCESS

Regardless of the final outcomes of games, ask the question, "Are we improving in certain areas?" For good teams, "are we eliminating mistakes that could cost us when the competition gets tighter?" For struggling teams, "are we seeing improvement and building toward a successful culture/program?"

3. HOW DO YOU MEASURE ON THE  "GRIT" SCALE?

Some educational researchers have defined GRIT as "passion and perseverance to achieve long term goals".  When struggles come, do you get more DEJECTED or more DETERMINED? 

Studies have shown that the attribute of GRIT,  is one of the most powerful indicators of success. The most GRITTY people usually succeed on and off the court.

4. STAY TOGETHER, PRACTICE "TOGETHERNESS"

 -Teams can become selfish during good times and turn on each other during tough times. Teams that stay together can resist the temptation to be selfish, can withstand tough times, and even conquer insurmountable odds. I love this clip of the movie Gladiator.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWRfWr65rlg 

Is it possible that a more "together" team could be worth 1 point in a game? Have you ever won or lost a game by just 1 point? 

 5. KEEP FIGHTING, BE "RESILIENT"

Most people can appreciate a team or athletes that refuse to give up no matter what the circumstance. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficulty and in some cases, be better than before. This can happen when the other team goes on a run and things look most bleak, or even within a season. Teams that "Fight" and show tremendous Resilience over and over again have the best chance for sustained success.