About Me

Jack Perconte

The Psychologist is You

Sports coaching tips of the day

Half the Job is Being the Psychologist

You must do some of your best coaching for the player or team who gets off to the slow start or has the prolonged slump. Anticipation is always sky high for the season’s start and players have usually put in a lot of work beforehand, only to crash once the games begin.

Over the course of the season, most players have peaks and valleys. One week is solid and the next not so much. But, when they have weeks of disappointing play, many will begin to become so frustrated they may stop working and contemplate quitting altogether.

You have to say the right things to help them believe in themselves and that things will turn around. I begin this process before the season starts knowing not all will get off to the fast start.

For example, I say: “It’s not the player who starts off great that matters as much as the one who finishes strong.” With that, I want them to know that if they keep working, good things will happen. And, “It’s not always the best players at your age that keeps playing for a long time, it’s the players who keep improving.” If you can convince them of this, they have a great chance of turning things around.

When players struggle early or for a while, you must help them believe.

“You have always been good, hang in there, and things will turn around. 
“Your hard work will pay off; just give it a little more time.” 
“Keep your focus on the fundamentals and the rest will take care of itself.” 
“Don’t try to do too much; you can’t win the game all by yourself” 
“There are many ways to contribute, so don’t worry about struggling in one area.” 
“I don't care how you are doing, I will always believe in you.”