Performance Excellence Center & Dr. Eddie O'Connor

September 14, 2010

Hello Friends,

I apologize for being out of touch this summer. I moved into a beautiful new location at 1155 East Paris, SE and was  auditioning for Oprah. I appreciate your support. Unfortunately I didn't make the cut.  But Michael Jordan was cut from his HS basketball team so like him, I will just keep working.

Persistence is a skill that can be learned and developed. My newsletter describes how I am brining mental tougness training to my youth football team. I teach them to win by focusing on chracter and effort. I hope this gives you some ideas about how to reinforce these things in your kids, in your athletes, or in your teammates.
Enjoy the Fall ... I love this time of year and start playing football myself with my neighbors this Sunday.  Can't wait!
Practicing What I Preach 

Coaches trying to win at all costs sends the wrong message and can lead to abusive behaviors.  Consider recent August headlines:

        Football coaches being investigated for hazing at Elk River High School in Central Minnesota and St. Paul High School in California

        Indiana Fishers Area Swimming Tigers coach Ken Stopkotte accused of altering 180 swim times

        Florida's Pompano Beach High School baseball coach Stephen Weigel accused of bullying

The desire to win can take a coaches' focus away from player development. Teaching athletes how to play the game, how to win and how to lose should be the emphasis in youth sport. The behaviors of the coaches above set a terrible example for young athletes. 
Celebrating first win of the season in the rain ... EVERYONE played and had fun
Coach O'Connor & son Shea

That is why I had my 8/9 year old football players decide what team culture they wanted to develop this season. The kids voted and decided to emphasize: 1) bouncing back from mistakes, 2) playing smart, and 3) having fun. Coaches don't give helmet stickers for touchdowns. We reinforce the process of of how to play immediately (vs. the outcome of the play) by giving a sticker when exceptional effort is made, or when they demonstrate an ability to push the envelope, make a mistake and learn from it. At a time when mistakes are not tolerated, this decreases a young athlete's fear of failure. They learn that they have to make mistakes to succeed.  It is more than ok.

You will see one player at practice wearing a dirty #11 jersey (which stands for "#1 twice"). At the end of practice he awards it to a teammate that best demonstrated the team's culture that day. That player is the role model for the next practice.  This continues all season.  ... But why not wash it? We reinforce players who 'get their jersey dirty' through hard work and effort.
Huddling (and focusing) in the rain.
Huddling in the rain
Coaches teach mental toughness skills that can be applied to other areas of life like school or playing a musical instrument. You can teach them how to achieve.  Through positive coaching you develop the skills that maximize their chances to win on and off the field.
Connect with Dr. Eddie

Dr. Eddie on YouTube
Dr. Eddie
Mental Toughness before the Ms. Wheelchair America Pagent
Many thanks to the
I had a blast during our pre-season workshop for parents and players. Welcome to the newsletter!
Have Dr. Eddie speak to your team & parents
at your school
or practice facility. 
Call 616.233-3480
In the News

My thoughts on
Crying in Sport in the
... and join my Facebook page where I post links to stories such as these:
in female athletes
There is no place for hazing in sports
Why is the 600th homerun so much harder to hit than the 599th?
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