Coach Randal S. Doaty
Focus and Attitude Coaching has generated some interesting revelations. One of the mental landmines that I unearthed early in my basketball focus and attitude coaching career was the team candy bag. A large net bag with all sorts of hard sugar candy was part of the team’s equipment essentials for every game. When the candy bag disappeared, our wins began to appear!
I am sure this isn’t the hardcore mental strategy you were seeking when you started to read this post. However, it needs to be something you keep on your focus and attitude radar when you begin to look for the things that might be affecting the mental stability of your basketball team. Blood sugar spikes and crashes can turn otherwise talented athletes into very ineffective athletes.
Athletic performance both long term and short term can revolve around diet, nutrition, blood sugar and other body fuel issues. A coach or an athlete who is trying to decipher the magic code surrounding peak mental performance during an athletic contest needs to make nutrition a part of the discussion. In an age where sugar, vitamin energy boosts and caffeine are used with reckless abandon, someone needs to be watching the effect on the individual players. In physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same is true with the chemicals we ingest.
Pulling the candy bag from the basketball team equipment list was not a popular choice and drew criticism for the Focus & Attitude Coach. Years later, it has become evident that the sugar crashes in the third and fourth quarters of our basketball games were directly related to a sweet habit that had sour results. If you have a player who cannot get a grip on their focus and attitude, I suggest you take a closer look at what they are gripping before the game for a snack!