My mother & father always told me, “live your life if it was like a movie picture show, just make sure it’s worth watching!”
I believe the great ones that I have worked with through the years – no matter what their sport - Soccer, Basketball , Volleyball & Baseball, or their industry – began with the END in MIND. They see in their mind’s eye how they want to be in the future. They envision their perfect self. They picture their destination, not the journey! As a coach for many years, I look at the end result, then work backwards to where I want my players and teams to be!
I have an end in mind, a dream if you prefer for all my players when it comes to performance focus. Some of my dreams go like this:
Caitlyn tackles the striker which the referee sees as a foul. Caitlyn believes it was a fair challenge but gets up and quickly runs back to her position. She focuses on what she can control. She finds the person she’s marking quickly and instructs others to do the same.
Amber breaks free just inside the penalty area and lashes at the ball. Her shot blazes wide of the right hand near post. She goes to put her hands on her head then catches herself. She focuses on what she can control. She gets her head up and runs back into position ready to win the ball again.
Stefanie keeps losing headers to the bigger than large center back who towers above her. But she loves focusing on the only thing she can control – herself. She maintains her confidence though and works on different ways to win the ball. She uses her body effectively and tries to tire the center back by constantly moving. She keeps going.
Sara knows that time is running out. Her team are 1 – 0 up in this crucial cup game and she can see her team mates desperately trying to play the game out. She knows she cannot control the clock – just her game. She ignores the time and absorbs her mind on things she can control to give herself the best opportunity to keep playing well.
My End of Mind is for my players to play with a mindset that focuses tightly on the elements of the game they can control. In my vision of their ideal future they ignore the things they cannot control and only acknowledge what they can influence. Their soccer minds and performance focus are wrapped up in the things they can control. There is nothing outside of this bubble. They adhere to this rigidly and with discipline.
This was the vision I had for my daughter. I wanted Ali to fall in love with the performance philosophy I introduced to her. I wanted her to be the me, the now, the script. In this way she would get the most from the great ability she had. It would give that extra few percent that would help her deliver week in week out.
“A player must play with intention. She must play with anticipation & forethought. She must play with will and skill and want!”