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Great Athletes Cover All Their Bases with a Plan A, B and C

04/29/2014, 11:45am MDT
By USAHockey.com

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.

They’ve got to have a Plan A, B and C.  

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.

Join the Responsible Sports movement!

©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.

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Right-sized baseball and softball fields, along with age-appropriate rule modifications, have been accepted wisdom in youth baseball for more than 50 years.

Coincidentally, while Little League was paring to its finalists, U.S. Soccer announced a nationwide initiative to improve youth skill development. The centerpiece was a shift to small-sided game formats and field sizes to be phased in across the country by August 2017. As part of the new plan, American soccer at U6, U7 and U8 will be played 4v4 on a pitch approximately one-eighth the size of an adult soccer field. Nine- and 10-year-olds will play 7v7 on a one-quarter-scale pitch. Not until age 13 will players begin competing 11v11 on a regulation adult-sized pitch.

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