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Beating the Odds

Four Big No-No’s of Preparing for the Big Dance

Let’s say you’re fortunate enough to have reached your “Big Dance,” whether it’s the NCAA tournament or your state final. Many coaches make the fatal mistake of believing they must do something special because of the occasion.

Dave Cross can help you avoid that. Dave is a nationally known coach, an expert on mental skills and co-author of the book “Volleyball Cybernetics.” Even though his specialty is volleyball, his principles work in any arena.

Here he offers the four big no-no’s of preparing for the big game.

1. Changing to something other than what your players have been doing well all season. If you put them in situations they are not familiar with, they will start thinking too much — and there goes their aggressiveness!

2. Putting in a plan your players simply aren’t confident in. If they aren’t confident — well, there goes that aggressiveness again. When was the last time you saw a team win a big game when they weren’t playing aggressively?

3. Implementing anything because you know you will have to have it in place for the “next opponent” down the road. What if it hurts you in this game — and you never get to that “next opponent?”

4. Failing to be aware of your “coaching ego.” Says Coach Cross: “I can’t count how many times I’ve seen coaches implement things that would work IF their players had the ability to execute them successfully– but it’s obvious they don’t.” Seriously, what good does it do to show what “you know,” if your team simply can’t execute it? Absolutely NONE!!

To read more great coaching tips from Coach Cross, see www.yesicanvolleyball.com.

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Mike Tully speaks to sports, business and educational groups. He also works with coaches, athletes and teams to make their practice time more productive and efficient. He and Gary Pritchard are co-authors of “Ten Things Great Coaches Know.” To see Coach Tully and Coach Pritchard discuss “Seven Ways to Prepare for Adversity,” go here.


One comment for “Four Big No-No’s of Preparing for the Big Dance”

  1. I think it depends on you team. I have been guilty of making some of the adjustments mentioned in the article. This year it I tweaked what we did with poor results. Two years ago the adjustments were successful. You have to know your team personality.That is the most important thing.

    Posted by Tony | March 16, 2011, 9:09 am

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