Most coaches agree that ninety percent of sport is mental and yet it is these very components of the game that are often overlooked in coach’s education. The purpose of the Sync-It-Up program is to support and supplement your everyday coaching with mental fitness training. Mental fitness refers to developing the psychological and social-emotional components of the game, areas that contribute significantly to optimal performance and which are often neglected during real-time training. These are also areas of the game that will serve young children and athletes in their everyday life, long after they have left the sport.
Children tend to learn at an accelerated pace when they have visual aids, are guided with questions, and can draw or write information as reinforcement. This is the rationale for creating an interactive workbook that takes high level concepts such as mindset or emotional awareness, and breaks them down into activities with vivid illustrations, simple and meaningful language, and thoughtful questions which provide an ideal platform for young soccer players to learn. Learning and teaching such concepts is often transformative for coaches and allows their team to learn more about and empower their athletes.
Coaches should use this program and the activities however they deem best for their team. This workbook is created with a progression in mind; however, you may want to skip around as various scenarios and challenges arise throughout the season that you would like to target.
HOW IT WORKS:
Step 1: Choose a chapter or area of focus for your team.
Step 2: Read the chapter summary located at the beginning of the chapter for an explanation of the concept. This will provide a broad understanding of the topic and how it applies to your coaching.
Step 3: Choose a player activity: Each chapter consists of three activities related to the main concept. We recommend completing the activities in order; however, choose the activity you feel is best for your team.
Step 4: Review the session plan which is always located on the left side of the player activity in the coach’s manual. This page includes a summary of the concept, objectives, prompts for discussion, and implementation.
Step 5: Complete the activity with your team.
Each activity can be completed before, during, or after a practice or team event. You may also find it beneficial to have the players take an activity home to complete. Just as with any concept you are teaching at practice, be sure to use guided discovery and prompt questions as this will ensure the players are engaged and following along with the activity. We recommend that you offer the players a brief explanation of the concept you are teaching prior to having them complete the activity. During the activity, or upon completion, you may want to ask additional questions that generate a team discussion. The most important thing to remember is the 10-15 minutes of teaching you do with your players before or after practice is only the beginning of their learning. “Teachable moments” occur throughout training that will reinforce these concepts and transform your athletes.