Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Good Reads

Special thanks to Nort and Richard Thornton for sharing with us in Las Vegas the following title: S.C.O.R.E. by Jim Fannin. We are just getting into this book and have already found it helpful in our approach to coaching. It has also been useful for some of our seniors in high school as they sort through the maze of “which college do I attend”.

S.C.O.R.E. is an acronym for Self-Discipline, Concentration, Optimism, Relaxation and Enjoyment. When you can have all 5 of these working for you living in the Zone is possible. The Zone is where true champions reside…so if you are looking for tips this book is worth the read. We like it since it isn’t preachy and has simple tests to take along the way that helps light the path.

Here is a sample exercise to determine the power of the NOW. We did this with our team last week…easy and powerful. Give your athletes a small ball – we used tennis balls. Ask them to toss it into the air once about three or four feet high and then catch it. They all will. Now ask them to do three in a row. They will be successful. Now ask them to do it, first once and then three times with the other hand. They will be successful. Ask them if they were thinking about anything else – as in, what if I don’t, or is the person next to me doing a better job than I am, or what if my parent knew I might drop it, or my coach…etc. you get the idea. You weren’t thinking about dinner or homework. If you live in the present with concentration, your chances for success go way up.

The other recommendation is by Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code. His follow-up book is The Little Book of Talent, subtitled 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills. This is perfect for any coach or athlete, teacher or student. The tips are a small page or two and you can easily apply them to your daily workouts and your coaching.

A couple of Tips…#26 Slow It Down (Even Slower Than You Think). He writes, “Ben Hogan, considered to have perhaps the most technically sound golf swing in the history of the game, routinely practiced so slowly that when he finally contacted the ball, it moved about an inch. As the saying goes, ‘It’s not how fast you can do it. It’s how slowly you can do it correctly.’”

And this from Tip 22 Pay Attention Immediately After You Make A Mistake. He writes on this subject, “most of us are allergic to mistakes. When we make one, our every instinct urges us to look away, ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen. This is not good because as we’ve seen, mistakes are our guideposts for improvement…Take mistakes seriously, but never personally.”

Tip 27 Close Your Eyes. We will swim with our eyes closed tomorrow.

Have a great week in and out of the pool!

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