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Athlete Assessments’ Senior Coaching Consultant, Bo Hanson, walks his talk at the organization’s Team Day. In this article we give you exclusive access to our Team Day, a day we set aside to review our internal scoreboard, establish goals for the coming year, assess our achievements, spend time with new team members and revisit our purpose.
Next time you’re considering using a sports consultancy to improve your team’s performance, make sure they can deliver what they’re promising. How do they intend to work with you? And, what’s their track record?
Often in our work, we’re asked if we’re leading teams. Our philosophy is that we are not leading teams; instead we’re working collaboratively to help them lead themselves and drive performance through the levers that truly make an impact on results; productive relationships, team culture and accountability systems.
Which is exactly what Saint Mary’s College of California’s Head Coach Tim O’Brien achieved when he led the Gaels to their third National Championship victory this year.
It’s a big deal to turn a team around as a first year Head Coach. It’s an even bigger deal to do this and get your team to the National Championships. And when it’s the first time that team has reached the NCAA Nationals since 1998, well you don’t get much better than that.
Have you ever wondered what successful Coaches do differently? How they manage to amass title after title and build a team culture athletes want to be part of?
The first thing we noticed with winning Coaches is that they never sit back and become complacent. Instead, the fact that they don’t is what sets them apart from the rest. Winning Coaches are always learning, always striving for the 0.1% and this set them up for success game after game, year after year.
And that’s exactly what University of Florida’s Head Women’s Tennis Coach Roland Thornqvist has done.
It takes a different skillset and a different mindset. Many incredible athletes have tried to make the transition and been unsuccessful. But there are a few who have got it right. Elissa Kent is one of these few.
Head Coach Ali Carey-Oliver achieved unprecedented success at Mt. San Antonio College after her women’s Volleyball program won their first ever Conference Championship with a perfect 8-0 conference record and an outstanding 20-4 season overall.
It is often said that having balance in life is a key ingredient in achieving success. And the balance provided in the curriculum directed by Dr Robert Baker at the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), George Mason University, is what makes their program sought after and its participants such successful graduates.
In the moments leading up to a game or race, it’s easy to visualize success and feel mentally tough. It’s easy to sit back and talk team strategies with our heart rates low and our breathing under control in an environment where we feel comfortable, unbeatable, ready. But toughness is not defined by pre-game talk or how well you practice your sport.
Professional development for Coaches is critical. And the best Coaches know that to be the best, they must continue to develop professionally. They need to continue seeking opportunities to access new information and network with a diverse range of fellow Coaches.
Elite athletes dedicate their lives to their sport, but what happens when it all comes to an end? What happens when all you have is your sport?
This is a topic that has recently gained a lot of momentum as a critical issue in sport. For elite athletes, the large majority of their effort and energy is focused on their training and competition. Throughout their careers, athletes make personal, professional and financial sacrifices so they can pursue their dreams. Often, things outside of sport are perceived as a luxury they simply cannot indulge, so it stands to reason that when sport is no longer an option, an athlete’s life feels out of balance or even, meaningless.
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to Sport Psychology is that an athlete needs to have deficits in their mental game before they can seek support. But Sport Psychologist, Dr. Justin Anderson works with some of the world’s best athletes who just want to “be better”.
The value of fostering meaningful relationships is a key concept Dr. Robert Mathner, an Associate Professor at Troy University, Alabama, instils in his Hospitality, Sport & Tourism Management (HSTM) students. He knows that supporting their inter-personal skill development will differentiate them in the job market and goes a long way to ensuring they are well prepared for the next chapter in their lives and careers.
What is it that makes one college graduate stand out from their peers? And what do employers want more than any other skill when they are recruiting staff? According to the 2016 National Association of Colleges & Employers Job Outlook survey, the answer is leadership, team work and communication. Skills that leading universities are ensuring their students have by the time they graduate.
Leadership can be a complicated topic. There are literally thousands of well-meaning books and even more articles dedicated to demystifying what leadership is and how to be an effective leader. We know there are different ways to lead and many examples of varying styles and philosophies of leadership. Knowing how to be a leader can be confusing because even though new models of leadership are spoken about, at the same time, we see more traditional styles being enacted within politics, business and sport. To say it is confusing is an understatement.
Throughout August the world’s top athletes battled it out in Rio as part of the 2016 Olympic Games. But some far outshone others to take home the medals. According to Scientific American, researchers have a special term for these best of the best: superelites.
Rio was always going to be an unfamiliar environment for many athletes. As such, it was going to be uncomfortable.
And perhaps one of the biggest lessons to be learnt from the performances at Rio was that those athletes with the ability to best adapt to new situations and unexpected circumstances, achieved better results.
The University of Notre Dame Softball Coaching Staff are diverse and they are unique. Not only have they played together, they now coach alongside each other begging the question, what more could you learn from someone you have known so well for so long?
The book GRIT made it onto many coaches reading lists over the summer (including ours) and there has been significant media coverage on the topic too. The interest is well founded as more than ever before, Coaches are unanimous in saying that their athletes are lacking resilience, they aren’t as ‘tough’ as their teams in previous times have been. And not just physically tough, mentally tough. But is ‘grit’ really the solution needed? Has the word ‘grit’ become too interchangeable that the real definition has been lost?
It is not every day that we have the privilege of writing an article about a clients’ success that includes images of the team they work with meeting the US President. But, today is one of those days. We congratulate and celebrate the behind the scenes work of consultant George Naughton and his colleague Dr Jim Brennan with the 2016 National Championship winning team, Villanova Wildcats.
George Naughton has a long history with Athlete Assessments and has been using Athlete Assessments’ DISC Profiles within his consultancy for over five years. He enjoyed enormous success in 2016 when one of his clients, the Villanova Men’s Basketball Team, won the D1 National Championship. George shares his personal insights with us in this Q&A.