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Tip of the Week

"Promoting education based athletics in Indiana"

Learning from past experiences is invaluable when it comes to growth and improvement in your sports.

According to Sports Illustrated, one of this year's top NFL players, quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, learned a valuable lesson during his freshman season at Texas Tech.

His college coach told the story of his first college game when he fumbled, then threw an interception--on the same play, after entering the game when the starter was injured. He admitted later that he was unprepared because of his poor practice habits. From that day forward he made preparation for football the centerpiece of his life.

More times than not, it's what you learn from a negative experience or tough loss that makes you determined to improve and become better!

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"Promoting education based athletics in Indiana"

Outside influences can sometimes be a distraction to the development and progress of a student-athlete. An example would be when an athlete pays more attention to a parent, a personal trainer, or a personal instructor over the coach that is actually coaching his or her team.

In today's world, those outside influences, even though the intent is to help you, could do more harm than good. Stop and think for a second; who is the person you need to impress the most in order to make teams and earn playing time?  I hope you would answer that it's your coach.

While outside coaches and trainers can be valuable in skill development and physical development, the person you must impress the most is the coach.  If the philosophies ever differ between the outside influences and your coach, be sure to play it smart and go along with what your coach wants and expects. That way you give yourself the greatest opportunity of playing!

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"Promoting education based athletics in Indiana"

One of the most overlooked aspects of success in any sport, but yet one of the most important, is the mental component and how it plays a key role in determining the final outcome of any given game. 

Being mentally sharp and staying focused on your task should never be taken for granted. The difference between losing and winning comes down to which opponent  makes fewer mental mistakes.

Whether it's a penalty in football, a foolish foul in basketball, or a base running mistake in baseball or softball, one mistake can be the difference maker.

Are you doing everything you can to be mentally prepared?  Do you get enough sleep, eat properly, and know the game plan?  Do you communicate with your coaches on what they deem important for you and the team? No team or individual will ever play the perfect game, but trying to do so will give you a bigger advantage!

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"Promoting education based athletics in Indiana"

So many times during high school sporting events there's a time in the game where one or two plays or possessions will determine the outcome of the game. Preparation, good calls by the coaches, and execution by the players usually turns out to be the difference maker.

As an athlete, how do you prepare yourself for those challenging moments and game changing plays?

Being under control is much more important than trying to make the big play. A first down at a time, a bucket at a time, or hitting singles instead of swinging for the fences actually keeps the pressure on your opponent.

Big plays usually come from the breakdown of an opponent.  Next time the game is on the line make sure you take care of your assignment. By doing so, it could turn out to be the biggest play of the day!  

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"Promoting education based athletics in Indiana"

Tiger Woods won the PGA Tour Championship final event and participated in the Ryder Cup for the USA this past weekend.  He stated after his last victory "I couldn't have done this without the help of everyone around me."  Tiger had not won a tour event since 2013.

Think of the people that play a big influence in your life and your athletics. Your parents, family members, teachers and administrators, coaches and teammates, and friends.  While you may not look daily at how influential they really are, in the end you will realize how important a great support group can help lead you to success.

Don't take these people for granted.  Be thankful they are a part of your life.  And don't be afraid to show your gratitude along the way by showing sincere appreciation for their support and help.  No one can go it alone, not even Tiger Woods!

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IHSAA Student-Athlete Tip of the Week (9-24-18)

"Promoting education based athletics in Indiana"

While watching NFL football this last week, it brought to mind a quote I saw in USA Today a few years back.

Gary Kubiak, a former NFL head, coach, speaking about those players that report for the first day of practice and whether they are prepared or not.

"Smart players, they know what to expect the first day of practice....You can see the difference in their preparation."

High school athletes, and especially the ninth and tenth graders, could have tryouts up to three times a year. Getting physically and mentally ready for those tryouts can be challenging. Get ready for the grind and keep your mind focused on your goal, that of making the team. You can worry about positions and playing time after that final cut!

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