The Curse of Multimedia and the Internet in the Coaching Industry

I actually never do this, but thought I’d have a look on Youtube today at coaching drills, exercises, tip etc..

Allistair McCaw 300x283 The Curse of Multimedia and the Internet in the Coaching Industry

Wow, that’s all I can say! Just astonished by some of the absolute garbage you find posted on multimedia websites like YouTube. ‘Guru trainers and coaches’ selling ’their’ drills and exercises. Just cannot believe people can buy into this.

I came across a guy on YouTube (I will with hold his name) who has taken drills straight of my method, tried to do himself, then telling people to subscribe to his page for $39.95 month!
The quality of the drills was laughable. In fact, when I think of it almost tragic, that some uninformed people will follow this instruction. He didn’t have a clue.

People, before you buy, subscribe or ‘follow’ one of these self proclaimed ‘Guru’s’, first check which athletes they have trained (if any) and what they have actually done, coaching wise.
There are so many expert marketers out there selling their ‘coaching skills’, when in fact they are taking you for a credit card ride.

Most of these ‘Guru’s’ don’t even understand the how, let alone the why.

My advice is to do your homework thoroughly before you take advice from someone or a fancy well designed coaching website.

It’s time these ‘YouTube coaches’ where found out. It’s ruining our industry, actually worse, it’s potentially injuring athletes.

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Shakira Said It Best: “The Hips Don’t Lie”

I believe that one of the most overlooked areas in an athletes training program when it comes to staying healthy and having better movement, is the hips.

Shakira 300x191 Shakira Said It Best: “The Hips Don’t Lie”

Great movement in sport relies on the strength, flexibility and range of motion of the joints and muscles in your lower body, starting from the ground and working up.

An athlete’s hips are their powerhouse, and any weakness or energy leak through the kinetic chain results in a significant power outage. The hip is a joint that has a wide range of motion that moves through many different planes and different angles. The hip acts as a rotator, extensor and flexor which helps transfer forces between the lower and upper body extremities. In fact, the hip is loaded with over 230% of weight when only walking! (Hence my importance focused on single leg/uni-lateral work too).

For an athlete to become more powerful and explosive, it is important that he or she also addresses lower body imbalances with stability, strengthening and flexibility exercises, all geared to improving their ability to move more easier and efficiently. Most lower back injuries stem from tightness in the hips and glute area’s.

In my method of training, I believe in a ‘hips before, hip after’ approach. What that means is that I’ll have the athlete perform a hip strengthening exercise before they start their training session and a hip mobility routine after using the MM stretch strap (www.themccawmethod.com/mccaw-method-products). Doing this routine immediately after a session while the body is still warm, helps the athlete fully optimize their mobility, flexibility and range of motion.

I have my athletes work on their hip strength and mobility at almost every session, also as part of their prehab routines. Exercises like the mini band monster walks, half foam roller squats and their post workout stretch routine.

Remember, that the hips don’t lie, so make sure you take a proactive approach to taking good care of them.

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The Stress of High Expectations

Too great an emphasis on goals can be stressful. Having high goals is normally a good thing. But like most good things, too much of it can turn it bad. Such was the case with a young college freshman, let’s call him Frank, with whom I consulted. He had been an outstanding junior, consistently ranked among the top three nationally in his age division, and was on a full tennis scholarship at a major university. But Frank was very unhappy. He had started the tennis  season playing #2 on the team but had performed so poorly that he had eventually worked his way down to #6. He was not getting along with his tennis coach, disliked his teammates, did not feel he was benefiting from team practices, and was terribly discouraged as his game seemed to be getting worse instead of better. Miserable and unable to dig himself out of this morass of discontent, Frank was thinking quitting the team and transferring to a different school.

Allen Fox Winning Mental Match 195x300 The Stress of High Expectations

When trying to come to grips with problems like Frank’s my first move is to try to understand their cause. Is there a common thread among them? So we reviewed the events leading up to his decision to go to the university. His last year of high school had been a happy and productive one, and the summer had begun as a time of great excitement and hope. He was scheduled to compete in a number of minor professional events – Futures-level tournaments and Challenger qualifying tournaments, in addition to the major national junior tournaments. Although he had been offered tennis scholarships at several outstanding universities, he had not made up his mind to accept one. His alternative was to skip college and go full-time on the pro tour. Frank planned to let his summer results settle the issue. If he did well, he would turn pro; if not, he would take a scholarship and go to college.

As is commonly the case with very high-ranking young tennis players, Frank’s heart was set on a pro career. His hopes were riding on having a great summer, making a thrilling jump into the pro ranks, and eventually earning a living doing what he loved – playing professional tennis tournaments. His goals also included leaving the mundane world of classrooms, homework, and college tennis far behind. Unfortunately, barring his way was a horde of equally talented young players with the same ideas.

Under pressure (self-induced, of course) to make his dreams come true, Frank performed poorly during the summer. He was upset at Kalamazoo in the national junior tennis championships, and fared no better in the pro events. As the summer progressed, Frank’s hopes gradually dimmed. He lost match after match, his confidence dissipated, and he played progressively worse, ultimately abandoning his hopes of making an immediate jump into the pros. So when the summer ended he accepted a scholarship and entered college.

But even here he ran into problems and soon found himself struggling with another deteriorating situation. What was the common factor? It was his extremely high goals and his disappointment at not reaching them. Frank entered college with the wrong attitude. Instead of being excited at the prospect of studying at an excellent university and being part of a high-ranking college tennis team, he was miserable about being there at all. To him college was the booby prize for not making it at the professional level. He felt stuck with what he saw as a bunch of mediocre players who were unlikely to ever reach the professional level. Perceiving college as a come-down, he soon found it difficult to motivate himself in the practices and matches. As night follows day, his match performances deteriorated. Although Frank considered his college opponents to be no better than ordinary, they were, nonetheless, quite good enough to beat him when his attitude was so negative. Frank’s various problems fed off of each other and created, in his head, a stressful and poisonous stew.

Frank gradually sorted out most of his issues by understanding that his perspective had been inaccurate. He had not been appreciative of what he had. Rather he had focused on what he felt he ought to have but didn’t. His goals had run amuck and morphed into expectations. (These commonly lead to disappointment and trouble.) Healthy goals are normally motivating and uplifting, and should act as guideposts towards which you gradually progress. But they need to be kept in perspective. There is no guarantee that your hopes and dreams will come true, and you should realize that you won’t have lost anything if they don’t.

In fact they will have served you well if they helped you focus on improvement. They will have made you better than you would have been without them. But they must not be confused with certainties. Because so many people had, over the years, told Frank he was going to be a great player, and because he had always risen so quickly to the top ranking of his age group, he had expected to achieve his high goals on his own accelerated schedule, underestimating the real difficulties and setting himself up for the frustration and unhappiness that were his undoing.

Frank’s frustrated expectations had given him a negative attitude, and most of his problems followed as a result. His thinking had cast a pall over what should have been a happy and positive situation. It led him to view his has classes as a drag, his coach as an antagonist (rather than as an ally), his teammates as a bunch of second-rate players (instead of as friends and companions), and his intercollegiate opponents as undeserving of respect. With this outlook, losses and a downward spiral were inevitable. Once he changed it, things gradually turned around for him.

Playing tennis is a no-lose situation as long as you keep a realistic perspective. First, it’s just a game that you are playing for fun and exercise. Yes it’s fun to win, but winning is not always possible. Even if you lose you can enjoy the competition and exercise. And regardless of the outcome you can take satisfaction from the fact that with each ball you hit you will be learning something. Though it may not be apparent at that moment, you will be improving your skills.

Allen Fox, earned a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA. He wrote the tennis best sellers, “If I’m the Better Player, Why Can’t I Win?” and “Think to Win,” and most recently, “Tennis: Winning the Mental Match.” Allen Fox website: http://www.allenfoxtennis.net/

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Seven Key Reasons Why the Best Tennis Players Succeed

Every junior tennis player needs to read this: Your ‪success‬ is determined in how you handle the ‘bad’ days.

To every junior athlete/ tennis player out there, the sooner you can get to grips with these seven points below, I promise you the sooner you will step up to that next level. To be an elite athlete in a sport you need to be in great physical shape, have a good understanding of the game or sport, and pay attention to your nutrition.

However, the biggest gain to be made can be found in your mindset, and how you go about handling what I call the ‘bad’ days.

success fail 300x204  Seven Key Reasons Why the Best Tennis Players Succeed

Here are seven key reasons why the best tennis players succeed:

1. A successful athlete accepts that they are not going to perform their best level every time they step onto the court, track or playing field.

2. They understand that success does not lie in a one-off upset against a big player or just having a few good results. It lies in consistent control of their emotions and mindset.

3. A Successful tennis player understands that in order to win on their ‘bad’ days, they need to always give their best and believe they can actually win.

4. A successful athlete does not spend their time comparing themselves or current level to their greatest ever performance.

5. The success of an tennis player lies in their ability to play ‘well enough’ to pull out a win on that day. They understand it gives them another day and chance to make it better!

6. They do not ruin their chances of winning or playing better (even when playing poorly) by letting a negative or bad attitude get in the way.

7. They know how to win ugly.

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