Mind Over Sports

WHY COACH PAT SUMMITT WAS SO SUCCESSFUL.

Posted on: June 30, 2016

One of the most important characteristics of a successful coach, which Pat Summitt possessed, was a high sense of inner-self, or self-worth. When coaches feel good about themselves, it not only shows up in how they interact with their players, but it also shows up in the won-lost column.

Successful coaches care about their athletes as human beings first, and then as athletic performers. This includes helping them with their personal issues and problems and having an open-door policy. Here are other characteristics:

Successful coaches know that athletes do not perform well if they fear the wrath of their coach.
Successful coaches know that when they get angry they give away their power. They do not yell and get in the faces of their athletes.
Successful coaches are aware their behavior in their own personal lives affects how they interact with their teams.
Successful coaches know that what takes place away from the field of competition affects what takes place on the field of competition.
Successful coaches encourage their athletes not to “withhold” their feelings and emotions since withholding is a form of lying that demeans them and lowers their self-esteem; as a result of withholding, athletes will take fewer risks in interpersonal relationships and create psychological baggage for themselves that affects their ability to focus and process information.
Successful coaches hold weekly team meetings and encourage, when necessary, that their athletes sometimes participate in “players only” meetings so they will feel free to discuss team related problems and issues in a support group environment, issues they may not feel comfortable discussing with their coach present.
Successful coaches know they cannot motivate their players but can create a environment allowing their players to discuss their personal issues and problems; and as they discuss their personal issues and problems, they will then feel better about themselves and will automatically become more motivated.
Successful coaches are constantly aware of their players’ eye contact since they know that poor eye contact is an indication that players are withholding and have unresolved issues in their personal lives.
Successful coaches encourage their players to use visualization techniques, including the use of video tape sequences accompanied by a music track with meaningful lyrics.

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