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Most Recent Posts

What Made Jerry Garcia Great

August 9, 2018

He didn’t try to make music that everyone would like. He tried to make music that he liked.

When a Hire Just Doesn’t Work Out

August 8, 2018

Of the millions of hires made each year, some people just never fit in, others get sick and can't deliver, and still others wind up as little performers with big resumes.

What Would Make You Eat a Rat?

August 7, 2018

Is courage genetic, or can it be formed through power of will?

What’s Your Response to Criticism?

August 6, 2018

Everyone gets criticized one time or another. But when you're attacked, it helps to have a sense of worth that comes from having accomplished things.

Why Does Rejection Hurt So Much?

August 5, 2018

Science helps explain why so many people are afraid to get turned down in business, love and anywhere in life.

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
Think Better, Win More!: How Sport Psychology Can Make You a Champion
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

Times Square’s Lesson on Making Great Hires
August 4, 2018
What’s the Funniest Thing That’s Ever …
August 3, 2018
The Nine Most Important Words for Any Employer
August 2, 2018
Can You Trade a Baseball Player for a Box of Cigars?
August 1, 2018
The World Cup’s Lesson on Hiring
July 31, 2018
The Sixth-Grader No One Saw Coming
July 30, 2018
What Wrestling Did for Tom Cruise
July 29, 2018
What Does Being Valedictorian Mean?
July 28, 2018
What Horse-Racing Tells Us About Hiring
July 27, 2018
The Man of a Thousand Voices
July 26, 2018

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