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Most Recent Posts

The Genius of Obsession

March 14, 2015

Legend (or fact) has it that Albert Einstein stumbled on the Theory of Relativity when he spied the clock in a public square. Actually, “stumbling” is the wrong word. If Einstein had not been thinking about mysteries of the universe, seeing the clock would not have meant anything to him. But Einstein had a deep […]

The Genius of Luck

March 13, 2015

Alfred Hitchcock turned bad luck into genius. Born on Friday the 13th, “The Master of Suspense” channeled his childhood experiences into masterpieces of the silver screen. He found positives in what most people see as negatives. “Luck is everything,” Hitchcock said. “My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I’m fortunate […]

The Genius You’re Not Seeing

March 12, 2015

Let’s play a quick little game. How many times does the letter ‘f’ appear in the following sentence? “Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of many years.” Did you count correctly? Many people do not. Many people see three. The correct answer comes below. This simple test […]

The Genius of Action

March 11, 2015

Genius is about action. Everyone gets great ideas. Hardly anyone follows up on them.

The Genius of Detail

March 10, 2015

There is genius in attention to detail. Little things make big things happen.

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

Unlocking Your Genius
March 9, 2015
Stop Thinking About Winning!
March 6, 2015
When Teams Try to Lose
March 3, 2015
Could Herb Brooks coach the same way today?
February 16, 2015
Impossible Luck
February 13, 2015
Impossible Control
February 12, 2015
Daily Impossible
February 11, 2015
Impossible Weather
February 10, 2015
Impossible Rejection
February 9, 2015
Impossible Journey
February 8, 2015

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