First Match of the new season – How good was the Prep?

September 4, 2010 Post Comment Uncategorised

Excitement – anticipation – nerves aflutter –

It’s the first matchday of a new season for the team I coach. There’s been ten pre-season sessions in which we’ve addressed their fitness, strength and conditioning, re-awakening personal and positional skills, playing patterns and organisational aptitude.

So this afternoon is the ‘moment of truth’ – are they under-cooked?

Well, for me, this is the first port of call in laying down some mental approaches for the season – and in playing down the pitfalls of today’s encounters; not so much versus the opposition, but rather for my players versus themselves.

There is always the expectation that I am going to unwrap some pearls of wisdom in a pre-match talk anyway – and today will be no exception. However, the focus I want them to bring is twofold.
1. Sowing, cultivating and nurturing a winning mindset.
2. That today is still part of preparation, still a step along the journey. There is NO finished article, because even if they reach the standards they aspire to and I envisage they will achieve, then that is not the end of the story. There is the next level to go for, and then the next, and so on in an inevitable drive towards being the best they can possibly be. Everything in those terms is “Work in Progress” (and I have used that perspective earlier this year with wonderful consequences for the young sportsman concerned.)

When all is said and done, my players are all capable of far, far more than they think they are – and once that is embedded in their mindset, then it is far easier for them to focus on PROCESSES and not OUTCOMES. Getting the processes right will lead to achieving the outcomes we all want. In order to win any prize in the Lottery the abiding essential is the buying of a ticket – it doesn’t work any other way!

I will report back on a later blog on how everything progresses!