// you’re reading...

Deliberate Practice

No Surprises

With fall teams entering their tournament season, thousands of coaches are looking for any edge they can get.

And here’s the edge, courtesy of peak performance expert Dave Cross: Change as little as you can.

In fact, Coach Cross offers this article, titled, “No surprises!” His point is that major changes at tournament time can distract teams from their purpose. It’s better to keep things as normal as possible.

Cross is national director for “Yes, I Can!” Volleyball. He studies the link between mind and body and presents several informative articles on his fine site. Though is specialty his volleyball, Cross’ observations obviously apply to competitions of all sorts.

Besides taking athletes out of their routine, big changes can wake up the nerves, exactly what you don’t want before a do-or-die game.

Cross certainly will get agreement from football coaches who take their teams to the Super Bowl. Year after year, you hear coaches say that their biggest concern is to keep things as normal as possible. That’s hard to do when an entire day is set aside to meet the media! But that’s the challenge.

Whether it’s in daily routine, diet, dress or practice intensity, change before a tournament game is almost guaranteed to do more harm than good.

For those teams just starting their winter season, coaches and players must establish strong rituals that will serve them well not only now but at the end of the season.


One comment for “No Surprises”

  1. This is a great article that has deep meaing for our volleyball team. It was at this time last season that our team was concerned with stopping Bogota’s All State player, Janet Snell. We took about 40 minutes trying to adjust our lineup to present a better blocking scheme against her attacks. During that 40 minute time frame both the coaches and the players seemed a bit uneasy with the potential changes that were going to take place. Finally, a plyer suggested that we just keep things as they were and let Janet Snell worry about us and what we do day in and day out. That piece of advise by one of our players was the key to us winning a state championship the following day!

    Posted by Scott Stiefbold | November 10, 2009, 11:18 am

Post a comment