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Most Recent Posts

When Teams Try to Lose

March 3, 2015

Be careful what you wish for. You may get it. Two prep basketball teams tried to lose a game. They both succeeded. And they both lost. Bigtime. We’re referring to two Tennessee prep teams who recently tried to outdo each other in losing. They deliberately committed turnovers. Both teams apparently were trying to avoid a […]

Could Herb Brooks coach the same way today?

February 16, 2015

Thirty-five ago, the U.S. Olympic hockey team was creating what came to be known as the Miracle on Ice. Under the stern leadership of coach Herb Brooks, the Americans upset the then-Soviet Union and capped a sports story for the ages with a victory over Finland. Brooks, whose tough style involved insults and at least […]

Impossible Luck

February 13, 2015

On Friday the 13th, make your own luck. If you want to be in the right place at the right time, then be in the right place more often.

Impossible Control

February 12, 2015

Know the difference between what IS impossible and what only SEEMS impossible. For instance, changing other people is impossible. Controlling yourself is possible. The sooner you let go of what truly IS impossible, the sooner you can pursue what only SEEMS possible.

Daily Impossible

February 11, 2015

John Wooden, who coached UCLA to 10 NCAA basketball titles, used one secret. Make his secret your secret and you can do the impossible.

Most Recent Coaching Tips

  • Three factors -- the NHL’s recent Winter Classic, the cold wave in the Northeast, and a conversation with mental toughness guru Craig Sigl -- made me think of the Canadian game of shinny. Shinny is a simple variation of ice hockey in which one player tries to keep the puck, and all the others try to get it away from him. There was a time when all Canadian boys played it because it was so easy to start a game. All you needed was ice, a puck and sticks. Nowadays, I’m not so sure how many people play it, because organized leagues start at such a young age. Sigl and I were talking about practice, and how important it is to make sure that athletes compete not only in games but in the hours that lead up to it. Shinny is a simple form of competition: you have to learn to keep the puck or you will lose it. In trying to hold the puck or capture it, players are developing their skills and their competitive instincts. It's a basic form of deliberate practice. While waiting to give a talk in Minnesota last summer, I was two athletes practicing on a basketball court. Each player would shoot a three-point shot and a layup. If both shots went in, the player got to try again. If one shot missed, it was the other player’s turn. It was a brilliantly designed practice in which both players got to work on important skills. On the playgrounds of New York, this principle is on display in the simple basketball ritual of “I’ve got winner.” If you win, you stay. If you lose, you leave the court and wait the next turn. It’s a way to force people to either improve or leave the court all the time. Whatever sport you’re coaching, work hard to use competition in practice. It will help develop what North Carolina women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance calls that “wonderful practice intensity.” I wonder how many of the players in the Winter Classic ever played shinny. And I wonder, with the temperature at 13 degrees while I write this, how many young people are playing it right now! *** *** *** *** TotalGamePlan offers Winner’s Workshops for schools, sports teams and businesses. The emphasis is on motivation, skill-building and teamwork. To bring a Winner’s Workshop to your group, just email coachtully@totalgameplan.com or call (973) 800-5836. #
  • Former NFL player and coach Tony Dungy has a son playing in college. He discusses the experience in this video. #

Welcome to Total Game Plan

My Books
10 Things Great Coaches Know by Mike Tully
10 Things Great Coaches Know by Mike Tully
10 Things Great Coaches Know by Mike Tully
About Mike Tully

Coach Mike Tully has studied peak performance for three decades, first as an international sports writer and then as a championship coach. Coach Tully covered Olympic Games in Lake Placid, Los Angeles, Sarajevo and Seoul, as well as more than 100 consecutive World Series games. Now he takes the insights gained from the greatest athletes in the world and brings them into high school and college gyms.

Recent Posts

Impossible Weather
February 10, 2015
Impossible Rejection
February 9, 2015
Impossible Journey
February 8, 2015
Impossible Job
February 7, 2015
Circus Impossible
February 6, 2015
Impossible Advice
February 5, 2015
Impossible Feedback
February 4, 2015
Houdini’s Impossible Trick
February 3, 2015
Impossible Finish
February 2, 2015
Impossible Upset
February 1, 2015

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