True greatness requires extra effort. That’s true in any walk of life, and it’s certainly true in sports – no matter how much raw talent our young athletes possess.
In the unpredictable and fast-moving world of sports, extra effort goes hand in hand with proper preparation. If an athlete wants to be great and win, they’ve got to prepare great too. And to prepare great, they’ve got to have more than just a Plan A.
The experts at Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) understand what it takes to achieve greatness and prepare for everything – including the unexpected. That’s why they developed a winning approach that’s built around both preparation and adaptation. They call this game-tested approach “Plan A-B-C.”
“Most athletes have a Plan A,” explains Jim Thompson, Founder and CEO of Positive Coaching Alliance. “The way they like to compete, that plays to their strengths.”
But just like anyone else, athletes also have “off days.” In those moments, they need to switch gears and zone in on those solid backup plans they’ve been developing. When Plan A just isn’t working, they need to reset their focus towards Plan B.
A great Plan B focuses closely on effort. If your offense just isn’t working or clicking, for example, focus instead on defensive effort and energy. In many sports, offensive runs are sparked by disruptive defense.
Likewise, if Plan B doesn’t yield the desired results, a prepared, disciplined and mentally tough athlete can move on to Plan C. For many great athletes, Plan C involves focusing less on their own efforts and achievements and concentrating more on making things happen for their teammates.
Whatever our young athletes’ sport, they can sharpen their mental game by not only identifying and practicing their Plan A, but by also preparing Plans B and C for those times when Plan A just isn’t cutting it.
When an athlete really knows and believes deep down that they can always find a way to succeed – in any scenario, against any opponent – greatness becomes that much more attainable.
Download our FREE "Plan A, B, C” handout now and sit down with your youth hockey player to help them make their plan.
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field.
©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.
March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.
This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.
“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”
The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.
Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.
“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.
“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.
“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”