Mastering the 5 Cornerstones of Athletic Improvement Part V – Stay on Your Path (PDF)

Competitive Articles

Mastering the 5 Cornerstones of Athletic Improvement Part V – Stay on Your Path (PDF)

The journey you have chosen requires you to blaze a trail, or follow in the steps of others who
have gone before you. Either way you must stay on your chosen path in spite of the various
forks and tributaries that might cause you to stray.

Mastering the 5 Cornerstones of Athletic Improvement Part IV – Manage Your Thoughts (PDF)

You are not your mind. Your brain is capable of spitting out 60,000 thoughts a day with lightning fast speed, but that’s not who you are. Thoughts come to you faster than you can choose them sometimes, and that means some of them do not actually serve you well.

Mastering the 5 Cornerstones of Athletic Improvement Part III – Stick to It (PDF)

“Adversity has a way of eliciting strengths that in normal times would otherwise lay dormant.” This quote suggests there is a redeeming value to facing obstacles, setbacks, and adversity. It’s normal to “boo-hoo” at first when calamity strikes, but the sooner you can see adversity as an opportunity – instead of a threat – the faster you will capitalize on its fruits. Every adversity your encounter has benefits of great value, and the lessons hidden in each struggle will make you stronger when you Stick to It.

Mastering the 5 Cornerstones of Athletic Improvement Part II – Be Coachable (PDF)

“When the student is ready, the master will appear.” This familiar quote uses the word “ready” to describe the state of mind of a coachable student. Your attitude toward being coached is the most critical factor in being able to take advantage of new information. It doesn’t matter how revolutionary the coaching might be if the student is not open or receptive to being influenced by a coach. You must find the sweet spot between confident in what you DO know and humble about what you DON’T know at the same time.

Mastering the 5 Cornerstones of Athletic Improvement Part I – Live By Your Values (PDF)

What do you pull out of your pocket when you’re lost in the woods? Assuming you don’t have a GPS device, a compass would be most useful for making a decision about the next step in your journey. For that same reason, every athlete needs a moral compass for moving forward in a direction that is consistent with who they are.

Who Cares Most About Winning in Youth Sports?

By David Benzel
There seems to be confusion in youth sports about who cares the most about winning a championship, and even about who should care the most – the coaches, the parents, or the kids. Let’s take a look at the possible motives and responses in each category.

The Mental Gymnastics of Winners

By David Benzel
“It seemed only logical to me that winners are people with tall trophies, blue ribbons, or gold medals. I looked around my home and I didn’t have any tall trophies, blue ribbons, or gold medals. Therefore if winners have these things and I have none, I must be a L____! Oh, I couldn’t even say the word, but it only made sense based on my own logic. “

The Importance of Small Wins

By David Benzel
What appear to be major athletic breakthroughs are normally the sum total of many small daily wins accumulated over time.

Conquering the Fear of Failure

By David Benzel
I was recently asked by a parent, “How can I help my child get past the fear of failure.” An athlete’s fear comes from disappointing experiences and exists on three different levels. So the question must be answered on several levels and I’ll use a swimming pool metaphor to expose the depth of this common challenge.

Taming the Beast within Your Child’s Coach (PDF)

By David Benzel
The parent/coach relationship is important for the sake of your child’s skill development and social development. However it can be a tricky relationship for you due to two factors: 1) your emotional investment in your child’s progress; and 2) the complexity of issues a coach faces in making so many subjective decisions that affect your child and the team.