The mental key to optimal performance

How can you help your children find the the mental key to optimal athletic performance? Professional athlete himself, John O'Sullivan, explains how parents and coaches can influence athletes to achieve their greatest performance and goals.
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The mental key to optimal performance

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I think, perhaps, the single greatest factor that affects performance certainly in a game is an athlete's state of mind. The practice and everything they do up to that is really important, but when they step on that field, it's their state of mind will determine how well they play. One of my favourite things is a quote from a man named, Timothy Gallwey, and a great book called The Inner Game of Tennis and he says, "Performance equals potential minus interference." So, your potential is your genetics and your practice and everything that you could be minus the things that interfere with it, and a bad state of mind is the single greatest thing that interferes with performance. Now, when I was a young coach, I thought my job was to pile as much on top of my players as possible. Give them more if they're struggling with this, let me give them more of that. And then I realized that actually our job as coaches is to strip away all these things that interfere and parents who coach and yell from the sideline interferes with performance. Coaches who are constantly yelling at their kids throughout the game interfere with performance. Kids who aren't made to believe in themselves or if they're afraid to make a mistake, that interferes with how they are going to play, and the best players play with freedom and they play without fear and they are not afraid of making errors and when you strip all that interference away, then they can play up to their potential.
ALL PARENTS, TEEN, Activities, Sports

How can you help your children find the the mental key to optimal athletic performance? Professional athlete himself, John O'Sullivan, explains how parents and coaches can influence athletes to achieve their greatest performance and goals.

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John O'Sullivan

Founder of Changing The Game Project

John O’Sullivan founded the Changing the Game Project in 2012 in order to help parents, coaches and youth sports organizations create a more child-centered sports experience for our young athletes. John is a former collegiate and professional player, and worked for 20 years on the youth, high school and college level as a coach and club Technical Director. He holds a USSF A License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and a US Youth Soccer National License. His blog is now one of the most popular youth sports websites in the US, and he has been a featured presenter at TEDx Bend Oregon, IMG Academy, and this week at the NSCAA Convention. The Changing the Game Project provides live and online parent and coaching education workshops, webinars, and consulting services.

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