‘Committed’ with Blinders

We all want committed athletes.  Committed to improvement, committed to the team and committed to the sport.  But can an athlete be too committed? To the point where they wear blinders that causes them to limit their potential as person and as an athlete?  

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John Hierlihy
FUN ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT FACTS TO CONSIDER

First off, stop banking on your kid to go pro to put you on easy street.  Unfortunately, banking on little Johnny or Sally to become a professional athlete is a bad move.  They are more likely to get struck by lightning than to play major professional sport!

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Duncan Fletcher
Crossing the Athlete Development Chasm

An interesting challenge in the athlete development space is dealing with organizational duality.  Simply, stated this is the difference between what organizations or athletic departments say related to how they value and understand their responsibility to the athletes under their purview, versus what they do.

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Duncan Fletcher
Elite Athletes Must Learn to Interact Well With Others

When working in the field of performance psychology, the goal is always to help clients find an edge that can improve outcomes. One of the best methods to identify potential competitive edges for athletes is to closely look at what the best and most successful athletes are doing, and then try to replicate their behaviors. It is important to note that although, yes, the most successful players may owe a great deal of that success to talent, they also demonstrate strong behavioral tendencies to fully realize their talent.

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Jay Harrison
Diversification Strategy

Once an athlete starts to get paid, they need to change from a mindset of ‘just work hard and everything will take care of itself’, to the mindset of managing you and your ‘business’.  As a professional athlete, you now need to take control of your ‘business’.

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John Hierlihy
Meditation for Mixed Martial Arts

A mixed martial arts fight is decided before the octagon door closes. The fighter whose will to win is stronger will be the victor. Having a clear and focused mind is imperative in MMA, which is why many UFC fighters prepare with meditation.

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Kelsey Puckett
Athlete Development | The New Sport Career Frontier

Besides being a player, I’ve been involved in athlete development probably my whole life in a variety of different ways. First, it was as a coach. I was an assistant coach for my brother's peewee hockey team.  I then by happenstance ended up creating development camps for a Tier II Jr. A hockey team (how can you ever forget the Victoria Salsa?). From there, I was given the opportunity to coach Division I hockey at Quinnipiac University, which was an awesome experience working with great people.  I even had the chance to briefly scout professionally for the Vancouver Canucks, which was a fascinating experience and provided me with a different perspective even though I was about as far from making any decisions as you could possibly be.

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Duncan Fletcher
Your Wealth is in Social Capital

Over my many years of working closely with Athletes, Executives and Business Owners, I have observed that everything ‘happens through a person’.  Your network, or as we will now call it, social capital is the key to creating opportunity. Opportunity to engage in fulfilling activities and generating a sustainable income during, and well after your athletic career is over.

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John Hierlihy
From the Playing Surface to the Sidelines

Over the course of my athlete transition practice, I have come across a number of athletes who are considering re-entering their sport in a coaching role. On the surface, this appears to be a great idea: to parlay a lifetime of experience and skills into a new career developing those skills in others. However, connecting those dots may not be a simple, easy, or natural as it appears. In the process of trying to develop good athletes, the development of good coaches may often get overlooked.

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Jay Harrison
A look at the State of NCAA Men's Gymnastics

In April 2018, the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Flames hosted the 2017-2018 men’s collegiate gymnastics championships. 16 teams were in attendance. Four months later, on August 31st, 2018, The UIC men and women's gymnastics teams were informed that due to the cost of sports “rapidly rising with no sign of slowing down” their programs are to be dropped at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 season. Garrett Klassy, the UIC Athletic Director, assured the University that “...this was a move toward progress that needed to be taken.”. This decision will affect 11 women and 25 men from the university who will still have NCAA eligibility. The effect it has on the sport of gymnastics, specifically for men, is much greater.

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Harry Mclellan
Mentoring and Athletes

Learning that there is knowledge and wisdom to be found everywhere is something that seems to come with age; a fact which can be very frustrating when working with young people who often don't want to listen - no matter how important or useful the information you're trying to convey!

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Dan Jackson
A Peek Behind the Curtain of Team Athletics

There are many things to miss about being a collegiate athlete but personally, the hardest thing to leave behind is the camaraderie and environment that brings. Being a member of a college team is, I think, unlike anything in the world. Members are brought together from all over, joined, in the beginning, by nothing more than their love for a sport that frequently doesn’t love them back.

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Harry Mclellan
The FIFA World Cup: The World’s Biggest Stage

The FIFA World Cup is by far one of the most significant global events other than the Olympics.  The meeting of 32 teams of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and training reminds the world of their love for soccer: the competition, the upsets, and the sense of nationality that brings people together as nothing else can.  The World Cup also acts as a distraction from the pressing world issues we face today. For example, the Saudi Arabian attack on Yemen. With so many countries competing in this tournament, one would think the conflicts between nations or situations impacting the athletes would be brought into the spotlight along with the teams.  But with the 2018 World Cup entering its final weeks, have the athletes and fans taken advantage of this global platform the World Cup provides to promote the global issues that need to be addressed?

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Athlete Approaches to Athlete Development

Working regularly with professional athletes, I am constantly amazed at the diversity of interests, skills, and ambitions these athletes have outside of their sport. For me, these experiences put the proverbial nail in the coffin of the old stigma that athletes are dumb, uneducated, and one-dimensional.

More than ever athletes are diversifying both their personal and professional interests.  That approach pays huge dividends to both their current careers and life beyond the game, which is a great thing.

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