Sports Psychology & Coaching Effectively: “I told you not to pull the kite in and drop the board!”

Click on the picture below to watch the short video:

Everyone learns slightly differently. However, there are some general rules of thumb for coaching and teaching sports that hold true for most people.

1. Keep it simple. Focus on one thing at a time until it becomes a good habit. Then add a new element. Avoid giving too much information and lists of things to think about or the athlete will become overwhelmed or confused.

2. Focus on the positive. It can be helpful to show the right technique in contrast to the wrong technique so you can really see the clear difference. But you don’t want to focus too much on what not to do. Otherwise those negative images are the ones that stay in the athlete’s mind.

3. Be encouraging.
Build on what the student does well rather than focusing on everything he or she did poorly. Avoid scolding.

4. Take small steps. Avoid foolish and overly difficult expectations. People generally learn best when they can have success and then build on their successes.

5. Be specific. People learn better when you are precise rather than vague and open-ended.

6. Have fun. Sports are about having fun and enjoying yourself.

by Dr. Alison Poulsen
Healthy Relationships and
Effective Communication


Watch “Couples should pursue their individual passions for happiness.”

Read “Sports Psychology: ‘I don’t want to fail and disappoint the coach.’”

Read “Performance Anxiety: ‘I want to be totally relaxed instead of anxious when I compete in sports or engage in public speaking.’”

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