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Most Recent Posts

Joe Torre’s Formula for Success

July 27, 2014

Joe Torre reached the Hall of Fame in his field the same way you can get to the top in yours. He did it by knowing the biggest problem he had to solve. In Torre’s case it was George Steinbrenner, who hired him to manage the New York Yankees but who had a habit of [...]

Sports and Life

June 2, 2014

Years ago, in my sports writing days, a softball coach told me something that changed my life. “If someone is lazy on the field, they’ll be lazy in the office, too,” he said. “If someone is a team player on the field, they’ll be a team player in the office as well.” Those words came [...]

How to Be Wildly Successful

May 5, 2014

My friend, mentor and co-author Rob Gilbert is being honored by his school today. Gilbert, a professor of sport psychology at Montclair State University, is receiving the Outstanding Education Practices Award. Gilbert’s life and teaching come down to four words: It is about others. He would rather hear your story than tell his. He’ll talk [...]

Aesop, Hockey, and You

April 28, 2014

Years ago, Aesop warned about the dangers of getting complacent. He told the story of the hare and the tortoise, in which the hare raced out to a big lead over the plodding tortoise, decided to take a nap, and woke up just in time to see the tortoise cross the finish line first. Aesop [...]

How to Win Your Own Boston Marathon

April 21, 2014

Only two people can win the Boston Marathon, and that leaves out most of us. But anyone can win a much more important event, namely, the one we call life. To do anything worthwhile, you must do three things, and they’re exactly the three things marathon winners do. First, you must start. This involves a [...]

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

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
Five Statements That Form Your Destiny
March 31, 2014
What’s Your Relationship With Problems?
March 28, 2014
How to Become a High Draft Pick
March 7, 2014
Stop Excuses and Start Success
March 5, 2014
Hire People Who Are Smarter Than You
February 19, 2014
The Thing That Will Kill Any Team
February 18, 2014

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