Mind Over Sports

Team Meetings and Power Videos

Posted on: October 18, 2006

After the New York Giants’ devastating loss to Seattle, 42-30, which was then followed by a bye week, the following appeared in the October 9th 2006 issue of USA Today:

They were in grave danger of becoming a house divided after tight end Jeremy Shockey pointed a finger at head coach Tom Coughlin and his staff by saying the Giants were “out-coached” at Seattle. There was a lot of talk about (Coughlin) potentially losing this team, (Tiki) Barber said, ‘but it’s not so.’ The demanding coach might have headed off an insurrection. He held a meeting during which, according to Barber, he emphasized the need for members of the team to come together as a group rather than depend on individual talent.Barber was among the players who felt it was the right message at the right time. He approached Coughlin after the session to let him know that. ‘I was going to ask you for a players-only meeting,’ he told him, ‘but you did it for me.'”

04-helmet-logo-smAs a result of that meeting the Giants came together and thumped the Washington Redskins, 19-3. “That is what our team is supposed to look like,” said center Shaun O’Hara after the defending NFC East champions outplayed their division rivals in every imaginable way.

What this points up is the importance of team meetings, on a consistent basis, allowing players to vent their feelings and emotions rather than keeping them bottled up inside themselves. It’s very common to see a team hold a team meeting and then perform close to their skill levels in their next game. That’s why I believe coaches should not wait for anger and resentment to build among players but rather have team meetings every single week.

And after players discuss their issues and vent their feelings, and if their lives are in harmony, that’s when Power Videos become highly effective. What is a Power Video? Basically, it involves producing a 3-4 minute video tape for each individual player, with a music soundtrack. The video would essentially be a highlight film for each player, and the music would consist of a song with lyrics that has special meaning for the player. (A song I like to use for male athletes is “When He Shines” by Sheena Easton, which is 3:57 in length.) Portions of the video would be in slow motion, some of it at regular speed, and if a player has a particular athlete he (or she) wants to emulate, that athlete would appear briefly in his (or her) video. Also, if there is someone in their life they want to excel for, either alive or deceased, that person would also appear. But 90% of the contents should be of the athlete performing successfully.

Once the video is produced, the player then watches it over and over again at home, listening to the music track. Then, just before game time (generally in the locker room) the player listens to only the music track on a Walkman or other type of playback unit (with earphones) and the music track will re-create the mental images from his (or her) video. I call this “Image Transference.” And those athletes whose lives are in harmony, who have a high sense of self-worth and are not withholding their feelings and emotions, and who are highly spiritual, will actually be able to re-create those images on the playing field and experience them during competition.

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