Six tools to help coaches improve, too

Volunteer Rashad Wilson coaches Boston Raiders football practice.
Volunteer Rashad Wilson coaches Boston Raiders football practice. –The Boston Globe

Tips for coaches

■ Recovering from mistakes: Establish a ritual allowing athletes to mentally “reset’’ for the next play after making a mistake. One example is The Flush, a toilet-flushing motion that tells a player to flush away the error and move on.

■ Setting “stretch goals’’: Encourage players to improve in one specific area over a

period of time. In baseball, it might be consistently hitting the outside pitch to the

opposite field; in soccer, increasing the distance of a goal kick by 10 yards.

■ Creating symbolic rewards: Reward hustle with a symbolic prize. For instance, a Dirty Shirt Award given to the player who showed the most grit but was not necessarily the star.

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■ Developing a 2-minute drill: Pick a time in a game or practice when the team’s energy normally flags and amp up your positivity level. Keep the communication totally upbeat for a few minutes and save the criticism for later.

■ Practicing a self-control routine: When aggravated, pause and take a deep breath. Turn away from the field to refocus. Count backward from 100.

■ Coaching parents to “honor the game’’: Where appropriate, appoint one or more parents as “Culture Keeper’’ responsible for maintaining sideline decorum. JOSEPH P. KAHN

Source: “The Power of Double-Goal Coaching,’’ by PCA founder Jim Thompson

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