Don’t Just Talk About It….

Model Mindset

Do we show our athletes how we face our own insecurities and push ourselves to have a go anyways, e.g., make use of new technology?

Do we recognize that we may not have all the answers and are willing to seek other experts, and even our young athletes for help?

Do we invest our time and effort in getting better and better (instead of feeling helpless) during this global pandemic?

Role Modelling is perhaps the most important strategy to help not only our athletes, but ourselves develop the Growth Mindset.

Coach Hansen


Time to practice what we preach

Many of us are now stuck at home and some without income. Of course we prefer things to be different. Well they aren’t. Instead of feeling helpless, how can we turn this around?

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” –Epictetus

You’re not going to find direct answers to the question here but, you might be able to turn this into an opportunity for growth if you spend some time reflecting on what sports coaching has taught us and what we have been teaching our athletes

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Improving Observation Skills

The strength and conditioning coaches from Singapore Sport Institute (SSI) – Ranald Joseph and Kelvin Chua conducted a great CCE (Continuing Coaching Education) workshop – Basics of Strength Training: Its Importance, Principles and Basic Movement Progressions last month. They were engaging and covered the Why, What and How-s of basic strength training. For NROC coaches who missed the session, keep a lookout for the next session in September!

This post isn’t about the content of their workshop though. It’s about what I’ve observed during the micro-coaching bits, specifically, when the participants got into small groups and took turns to play the role of coach to observe the basic squat and hinge movements of the athletes.

“How are you supposed to make accurate observations when you are performing the exercises in a circle with your athletes?”

Almost every coach got into a circle with the participants/athletes and performed the exercises together. There were only two coaches who did not do so. One simply walked around the circle offering praises, and the other one got into positions where he could actually observe if the athletes were performing the movements correctly.

Now, the ability to make proper observations is a “bread and butter” coaching skill, and is taught in almost any coaching program. Hence, I was surprised with the behavior of the coaches – how are you supposed to make accurate observations when you are performing the exercises in a circle with your athletes?

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Effective Action or Procrastination?

When does having another discussion, review or even studying for another certification become another form of procrastination?

By all means, plan and equip yourself with the necessary ‘know how’,

But to what end?

Has your investment in time and money brought you any closer to your goal?

Are you taking effective action OR, are you simply doing your utmost to remain stuck in your comfort zone?

Coach Hansen

PS…Could writing this be my own form of procrastination?

Top 3 BS Complaints about CCE Hours…

When I received this via WhatsApp from Coach Zainudeen, my first thoughts were “Wow! Even Klinsmann has to be held accountable for his CCEs!”

WhatsApp Image 2020-02-12 at 15.37.13

Almost predictably, I began to recall the instances where local NROC (National Registry of Coaches) coaches complained about their CCE (Continuing Coach Education) requirements.

What do they grumble most about?

  1. The “unreasonable” number of CCE hours.
  2. That they have to take time off coaching to attend the CCE sessions or,
  3. There were not enough sport specific CCEs for them to attend.

While I wouldn’t mind debating about the validity of these complaints, I am more interested to discuss about a possible solution.

Continue reading “Top 3 BS Complaints about CCE Hours…”

Mindset First (2 of 2)

In the previous post, we discussed WHY coaches ought to be intentional about teaching Mindset. The focus here is on how we can integrate the teaching of mindset into our coaching practice.

We will first try to understand exactly HOW these coaching practices help athletes develop confidence and resilience, before going into WHAT these coaching practices are.


People who tend to overcome challenges and manage uncertainties have something in common – they focus on what they can control instead of what they cannot.

The Growth Mindset is primarily focused on things that are within her control. For example, how much energy she wants to invest in pursuing a goal and whether she wants to get better by learning from her mistakes. Our confidence grows when we focus on ‘step-by-steps’ that matter, and that are within our control. We are more likely to be solution focused and hence more likely to overcome difficulties.

What is the Fixed Mindset obsessed about? He’s likely to be stressing over whether he is going to win and how others are going to judge him if he loses.

Do we have direct control over outcomes and how others are going to think? What happens when you keep focusing on things that are out of your control? How would you feel?

A study by Schleider, Abel & Weisz (2015) found that fixed mindset youth were 58% more likely to show more severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, or aggression. This was a very thorough review of 17 studies involving over 6,500 students.

When we coach Mindset, we are inevitably helping athletes to focus on what they can control instead of what they can’t. We are teaching them how to be Confident and Resilient!
Continue reading “Mindset First (2 of 2)”

Mindset First (1 of 2)

It’s the foundation for learning and improving.

It’s perhaps the single most important factor in one’s overall success.

It’s also the first topic that I teach in all my psychological skills coaching programs.

Specifically, the Growth Mindset contributes to…

  1. greater effort even in areas where he or she is lacking
  2. the ability to bounce back from setbacks
  3. increased confidence

It would be so much easier to coach an athlete with these qualities isn’t it?

So why aren’t we teaching our athletes about Mindset?

“Coaches have the misunderstanding that Mindset has to be taught at the expense of valuable practice time.” Coach Hansen

Unfortunately, a handful of coaches still feel that mindset or resilience is something that you either have or don’t, and that it cannot be taught.

However, most coaches do not teach mindset because they either do not know how to, or because they assume that teaching Mindset would be at the expense of valuable practice time.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the teaching of mindset or any psychological skills should be put into context and integrated into the teaching of technical and tactical skills whenever possible. Instead of taking away valuable practice time, it helps the athlete to learn more effectively.

My intention for writing this two-part blog post is to share how we can integrate the teaching of Mindset into our coaching practices.

Continue reading “Mindset First (1 of 2)”