Category Archives: Sport Psychology

“How to Meet with A Coach Effectively”

coach-cornerI have worked with athletes for many years and I always hear several questions about coaches, their style, philosophy, evaluation of player performance and basically understanding expectations. Here are a few familiar questions and or comments: I do not understand my coach. How do I speak to my Coach? Why am I not playing? Why does my Coach dislike me? My Coach has favorites? My Coach is Unfair.

I am quite sure, that these questions/comments are all too familiar, especially, with the climate of competition in athletics.  At the end of the day, the athlete must still have the comfort to speak to the coach.  The athlete must show confidence, composure and respect during this meeting. Now today’s focus is on how an athlete should prepare for a 1-on-1 meeting with a coach.

Meeting Keys:

Have a Plan—Agenda–Provides organization
Objective— Main Goal—Why you called the meeting
3 points of Interest—What you want to address
Make 3 Copies-(You, Your Position Coach and Head Coach)
Create 10-15 Open-ended questions— Promotes discussion and feedback
(Question Strategy: who,what ,when where,why and how)

Meeting Flow:

Review Agenda
Open Discussion—Ask your questions
Allow Coach to respond on your points
You speak on your points
Confirm understanding of objectives-3 Points of Interest
Action steps: Set f/up meeting time to measure performance
Say Thank You

Qualities to Remember during the Meeting:

Listen -Take Notes

Keep Composure -Control Emotions

Focus on Objectives-Manage Time

Take Ownership -Repeat Important Points

Breathe-Relax-Stay Calm

This meeting preparation guideline provides a benchmark on how to plan, approach and gain the respect of the coach. An organized plan shows thought, professionalism and most importantly, shows that the athlete is serous about the future. If you would like a sample of a meeting agenda simply email me at reggiew@championsquest.com. Take care and remember preparation builds separation!!!

“Keep Living Like A Champion”

Champion’s Quest Athlete Academy

Assistant Athletic Director

Coach Reggie Ward

University of Notre Dame”88

reggiew@championsquest.com

562-598-2600

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Testimonial:”A Parent’s Excitement”

The Confidence of Jacob Ahumada:

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We are always excited when we have a parent share the success of their child here at Champion’s Quest Athlete Academy. Alicia was so excited about her son’s Jacob’s  confidence that she decided to share. See below and experience “A Parent’s Excitement”:

“Hi Coach Reggie!

“Omg you have no idea how much your message meant to Jacob! He had the biggest smile on his face & he rarely smiles that big lol. It really means a lot to us as well! He says Hello & thank you so much & he does remember UCLA & says he wants to continue a Bruin all the way!

He says you have an invite for any of his games forever! Lol! We really were blessed to have spent time & get to know you! Thank You because in a very short time you made a big impact in Jacobs life! You should see his confidence & his drive & that was thanks to you! Thank you!! Thank You!!

May God Bless you & your family because God really did put you in our paths when we needed it the most. Many Blessings! Stay Real! It is an honor to know you! Keep in touch & I hope one day if you have a chance Im sure Jacob would love to see you. If u are ever in wilson Jacob plays at 3pm on Thursdays! Stay Blessed!

Sincerely,
The Ahumadas!
Jacob, Alicia , Cruz & Michael too lol!

Wow these words were uplifting, strong and shows the power of teamwork between the athlete, parent and the Coach.  So, I say bravo to this family for allowing Champion’s Quest to help Jacob believe in his abilities on and off the field.”

“Keep Living Like a Champion”

Coach Reggie Ward

Champion’s Quest Academy

Athletic Director

reggiew@championsquest.com

562-598-2600

 

 

“The Athlete’s Law of Appreciation”

new-way-of-thinkingWhy is the law of appreciation important for today’s athlete?

It is important to today’s athlete because it is a constant reminder of balance, perspective and how valuable opportunities are during competition. In the world’s largest online dictionary—Wikipedia states the meaning of The Law of Appreciation below:

“The Law of Appreciation is yet another New Age so-called “natural law” that basically states “What you appreciate gets bigger, what you don’t appreciate gets smaller. Appreciation builds, evolves and creates harmony. Lack of appreciation motivates self consciousness, self depreciation and self destruction. There is nothing to change, only something to appreciate. You cannot change, you can only appreciate yourself as you are. Appreciation is an attractive force, depreciation is a repulsive force.”[1] In other words, if you appreciate something, you get more of it.[2]”

Now let’s take a closer look at “The Law of Appreciation” through the eyes of an athlete.

A    Approachable Personality
P    Powerful Behavior—“Actions speak louder than words”
P    Purpose Driven—Knowing why athletics are important
R    Respect yourself,the game and others
E    Excellence—Essential to achieve Success
C    Calm Confidence—Internal Belief
I     Inspired Life-style—Be a role model to others
A   Accepting of challenges and role on & off the field
T   Thankfulness filled with gratitude
I    Inviting/open to critical teaching and correction
O  Optimistic Viewpoint —always looking at life in a positive manner
N  Never-ending quest to pursue dreams and goals

Each athlete must remind themselves of these unique qualities to be more than an athlete, but a better human being and by doing this, they can be greater than they could have ever imagined.  Therefore, young athletes, embrace “The Law of Appreciation”and remember, the more you appreciate, the  more life will offer you on and off the field!!appreciationquote

“Keep Living Like A Champion”

Coach Reggie Ward

Champion’s Quest Athlete Academy

Assistant Athletic Director

reggiew@championsquest.com

562-5898-2600

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Why are F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.S. Important?

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Many athletes see the value in fundamentals but do not have a system to keep F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.S. present in their daily lives. F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.S. are away of life, an approach and a constant reminder to do the basics to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming a champion. Therefore, F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.S. are important because it lays the foundation of success and it allows the champion athlete to master their sport.

Now lets’ take a closer look at the power of F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.S

The “F” provides FOCUS and guidance.

The ” U” reminds the athlete that they must be UNIQUE and exhibit creativity.

The “N” shows that the athlete that everyday is a  NEW opportunity to pursue their purpose.

The “D” is the fuel in every athlete’s heart to keep the DREAM alive of being the best!!!

The “A”  is the  ABILITY TO ADJUST and then perform at the highest level.

The “M” is for the  MENTAL GAME because it is what makes great athletes great!!!

action-is-the-fundamental-key-to-success-quote-1The “E” reminds the athlete to maximize ENERGY levels in mind, body & spirit.

The “N” promotes self-motivation to say “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE”.

The “T”offers TRUST  to coaches to listen, to accept teaching and perform with confidence.

The “A” shows on how ATTENTION improves performance,especially attention to details.

The “L” is the athlete’s foundation because if you don’t LOVE what you do, why do it!!!

The “S” is having  SUPERIOR SKILLS and setting the standard in your sport.

Now that you have a system of mastering your fundamentals, implement these power points in your daily program, play with confidence and remember that F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.S. are the foundation of success!!!!

“Keep Living Like A Champion”

Coach Reggie Ward

Champion’s Quest Athlete Academy

Assistant Athletic Director

reggiew@championsquest.com

562-598-2600

 

 

“The Process” : Mental Approach on the Diamond Part 3

In our last article, we had an in depth look at what the “process” looks like for a ball player. To recap, “the process” is all about controlling only the things that you can control. By understanding that results are out of their control, the athlete can focus in on the things that are important. These things that are important are hitting the ball hard, making quality pitches, putting their bodies in the right position to field on defense, and ultimately, staying completely aggressive with their approach and effort. clayton-kershaw9

Baseball was never designed to be a sport based on accuracy and analytics. If pitchers were only required to throw strikes, and hitters were only required to hit the ball into permanent unchanging gaps, then we could maybe put the heavy emphasis on stats that we do. However, Baseball is so much more than just ERA, batting average, hits, walks, strikeouts, on base percentage, and everything else we obsess over! This game is an art form, and chess match that pins competitors against each other in a ballistic, fast paced, ever changing setting with strict guidelines and a human umpire who can determine their fates. With this thought in mind, how do we set up a pitcher to have the best possible chance of success on the mound? 635982535697601028-ap-rangers-tigers-baseball-m

If you are a pitcher, it is not rocket science to know that “better stuff” (i.e. velocity, movement, spin, etc.) equals a higher likelihood of getting the batter out. This also means that a pitcher that is throwing 95MPH versus a pitcher that is throwing 85MPH can get away with way more mistakes, because the batter is stressed with reaction time. If a pitcher that throws harder can get away with more mistakes, from an odds perspective, doesn’t he have a better chance of getting the batter out? You may be saying to yourself, “well yah of course, unless he’s really wild.” Ok, well now let’s imagine this is the same pitcher that has the ability to throw 95MPH but the coach has asked him to “tone it down” and throw 85MPH with more strikes.

First of all, he is now trying to do something which he has never done in his life, which is throw the ball with less than 100% effort with high pressure to a small target. With that his mechanics will change, his approach will change, and ultimately he will lose confidence in throwing the ball over the plate with conviction. This is because he is now solely thinking about just throwing strikes, rather than competing as an athlete. This leads me to the big take away. The pitcher, no matta0qcber how hard he throws, will compete at a higher level and have higher success, if he is trying to put a hole in the catcher rather than just getting it to the glove. This is because…

  1. His “stuff” is better and therefore the batter has less time to react and adjust.
  2. He is allowing himself to throw the way he has HIS ENTIRE LIFE of playing the game. From an early age, he has honed his craft of playing quality catch in a relaxed state of mind without conscious thoughts, and the demands of high achievement and pressure. So quite simply, practice like you play, and play like you practice. 

I have said it before and I will say it again, baseball players are gymnasts on a diamond. This means that ballplayers have to play the game instinctually with full trust that their countless hours of preparation have established their skill set. If you go out onto the field and try to do something different, by appeasing a voice that is telling you to play it safer, you are only setting yourself up for frustration and suffered performance.

It is time to take a step back as a culture, and not only look at how we are mentally developing our youth ball players, but also how we choose to coach our older elite ball players. Next time we will talk about this mental approach from a position player/ hitting perspective.

Coach Kyle Richter, CSCS, USAW, TPI

USC Baseball Alumni, BA Human Performance

 

“It’s In The D.E.T.A.I.L.S”

Many athletes want success, recognition and even fame, but few understand the importance of D.E.T.A.I.L.S. The true athlete not only understands the value of D.E.T.A.I.L.S, but embraces the smallest aspects of preparation and thus, realizes the ultimate success of an athlete is becoming a Champion.

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The definition of D.E.T.A.I.L.S lies in the 7 Pillars of Success. The 1st letter “D” stands for Determination, the 2nd letter “E” stands for Education, the 3rd letter “T” stands for Timing, the 4th letter “A” stands for Action. As the athlete continues the quest of becoming a Champion he displays the 5th letter “I” which stands for Integrity, the 6th letter “L” stands for doing the Little Things and the 7th letter “S” stands for Separation. Let’s take a closer look at this simple, yet powerful word: D.E.T.A.I.L.S.

The “D” in D.E.T.A.I.L.S stands for Determination.  Every athlete that pursues victory needs a driving force to inspire him to achieve success. When an athlete begins this journey he must display determination to move and push beyond difficult challenges, failures and hardships. Determination defines the athletes’ purpose, keeps focus and thus, provides the 1st pillar of becoming a Champion. The “E” in D.E.T.A.I.L.S is the 2nd pillar of success and stands for Education. Education is the foundation for learning on and off the field of life. Education gives the athlete knowledge, skills and the ability to prepare for the quest of being the best.

The letter “T” is the 3rd pillar of success in D.E.T.A.I.L.S and stands for Timing. Timing is so very important because it offers opportunity. Opportunity is defined as when preparation and achievement connect to reach a common goal. For example when a football player scores the winning touchdown and the top College Football Coach is in the stands watching. The player seizes the moment, timing is perfect and now he is in the position to receive the coveted football scholarship. The “A” in D.E.T.A.I.L.S stands for Action and represents the 4th pillar of success. Action is the energy, hard work and fuel that moves the athlete toward his goal. Action is the invaluable resource for all athletes because without it nothing happens but with it, extraordinary things can happen.

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The 5th pillar of success in D.E.T.A.I.L.S is the letter I which means Integrity. Integrity is essential in the character development of an athlete who wants to become a Champion. Integrity establishes honor, standards of excellence and sportsmanship. As a result, the athlete understands, it is far more important how you play the game, than the result of the game. Bottom line, the integrity of an athlete is far more valuable than victory, and this my friend, is the essence of a Champion.  As the Champion’s quest continues to develop integrity and attention to the smaller things become a major priority.

The letter ” L” focuses on the Little Things which is the 6th pillar of success in D.E.T.A.I.L.S.  For example, the routine, what you eat, how you train, who trains you, what you think about, and how you feel are the beginning stages of building uniqueness. When athletes pay attention to the little things the Champion now, sets himself apart from the crowd. When separation occurs in athletics recognition, awards and the praises increase almost overnight. But the true Champion, understands that being different creates separation.

Separation leads directly to the final letter “S” which is the 7th pillar of success in D.E.T.A.I.L.S.  Russell Wilson, Super Bowl Quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks stated, “Preparation Builds Separation”.   This statement is powerful because it embodies the essence of a Champion. All Champions know that it takes supreme dedication, exceptional work ethic, passion and a disciplined mindset to achieve greatness. These qualities appear very simple, but are very difficult to do consistently on a daily basis.   As a result, separation is in the D.E.T.A.I.L.S and this, is the difference between good and great.

Now young athletes, to acquire the 7 Pillars of Success you must remember D.E.T.A.I.L.S is a LIFESTYLE. When you prioritize determination, education, timing, action, integrity, the little things and separation you will receive the ultimate reward, becoming a Champion. Now young athletes you have the formula, go out and realize your dreams!!!!!

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“Keep Living Like A Champion”

Coach Reggie Ward

Director of Football Academy

reggiew@championsquest.com

562-598-2600

“What’s Important to Young Athletes”

In today’s world, sports are a vital part in developing the character, the competitive spirit and the minds of young athletes.  Many parents and coaches want to prepare the young athlete for challenges through training, specializing in their specific sport and yes, an opportunity to receive the covenant prize of an athletic scholarship and winning.  Many forget to ask the young athlete what’s important to them.  So today, let’s take a closer look at what is important to the young athlete.

While winning is important, the young athlete values 3 qualities much higher: fun, teamwork and participation.  Fun is the first important priority for the athlete.  Fun shows an inherit enjoyment win or lose, the athlete sees the sport as a game.  Fun allows the athlete to learn to love and appreciate the game and thus, will always play their best.  Lastly, fun promotes self-awareness,to be free, to smile and to be yourself.

The second point that is important to the young athlete is teamwork. This is truly defined in the great meaning of T.E.A.M.  “T” is for “Together, “E” is for Everyone, “A” is for Achieves  and “M” is for More”.  When the athlete combines all the letters and their meanings we get a powerful statement: Together everyone achieves more. The word team builds character, sportsmanship and respect of others. The most valuable aspect of team, is the sense of belonging to something meaningful, yes that means PURPOSE.

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Participation is the third important value for the athlete.  The essence of participation is to be with friends, playing a game they love and allowing freedom of expression.  Participation provides the start of something special, but if the athlete never participates they will never know what lies in their future.  As a result ,the young athlete must always keep fun, teamwork and participation at the forefront of their minds.

Let’s remember that sports are a great teacher. Let’s remember what’s important to young athletes: fun, teamwork and simply participating in sport that they love.  Remember, it’s a game, so let’s embrace the experience with our young athletes.

“KEEP LIVING LIKE A CHAMPION”

Coach Reggie Ward