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Most Recent Posts

Answer This Question and the World Is Yours

September 8, 2014

Why do some people quit while others persevere?

What Would Derek Jeter’s Business Slogan Be?

September 1, 2014

“With Jeter there are no surprises,” says my friend and co-author Dr. Rob Gilbert, a professor of sport psychology at Montclair State University. “He’s like a restaurant chain. You can go anywhere in the world and get the same thing. He’s never made an error off the field. He’s made some on the field, but never off.”

The Four-Letter Word That Creates Champions

August 24, 2014

No pain, no gain. You’ve heard it many times. But do you apply it to your own life? Katie Ledecky, 17-year-old swimming champion who looks very much like the next Olympic superstar, does. After smashing her own world record in the women’s 1500-meter freestyle over the weekend, Ledecky referred to what it takes to compete […]

Rory McIlroy’s Mental Edge

August 7, 2014

Golf legend Bobby Jones once said, “Golf is played on a six-inch course, namely, the space between your ears.” If that’s true — and it is — then the rest of the golf world better watch out. Rory McIlroy has built a mental game to go with his physical game, and that makes him scary […]

Ballet, NFL Football and You

August 3, 2014

Do you think superstars are destined to be superstars? Or do you think they themselves decided to be? Destined . . . Determined . . . . Devoted Misty Copeland and Michael Strahan were determined and that made all the difference in the world. That’s why they’ve been in the news recently. Copeland, rejected at […]

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

What Baseball’s Trade Deadline Means to You
July 31, 2014
Joe Torre’s Formula for Success
July 27, 2014
Sports and Life
June 2, 2014
How to Be Wildly Successful
May 5, 2014
Aesop, Hockey, and You
April 28, 2014
How to Win Your Own Boston Marathon
April 21, 2014
How to Reach Your Potential
April 20, 2014
How Jordan Spieth (And You) Can Improve
April 16, 2014
Great Ideas That Could Have Been Lost
April 14, 2014
How to Get More Out of Practice
April 4, 2014

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