What I learned by winning – a LOT – this year

I have been fortunate to work with some great coaches and players this year.  On the professional level the team I work with made it to the finals of the WNBA championship. On the Division 1 collegiate level I have 3 teams that will be playing in the NCAA tournament this week.  However, I would bet you that if you asked any of these coaches about the number of wins they have they’d be hard pressed to give you an accurate number. Don’t get me wrong they are each highly, highly competitive people, but the numbers themselves are not the measurement of success they use.


It would be easy for me to sit here and write about all the reasons that these teams won because of the massive impact of sport psychology – my work and role within each team. But that isn’t the direction I am going to go at all. In fact, it may be the opposite of that. There is no way to quantify the impact of my role in helping these teams to reach really high performance success. I know that it’s there it’s just really difficult to find a metric that could measure it.


However, what I have started to think about is why are they so successful?  Here’s what I know – all four coaches are very different – age, years of experience, tactical style of play, what they emphasize, how they teach, etc. Yet, what they do share is that each of them believes that we coach humans and not jersey numbers. They believe that they must equip their players with everything they can within their resources to help develop them as a whole person.  This includes training on recovery, nutrition, hydration, sleep, strength, and giving back to those that are less fortunate than them. It also includes teaching them about mental and emotional growth.


I believe that they don’t feel that any one of these areas specifically is THE reason for the success. Instead they believe that EACH of these together helps their players to find their ultimate potential. And if they can help them reach their own individual potential then it places them in the best position to reach their highest collective success.  They believe that there is no single easy path to achievement, but instead a dedication to effective and healthy skills and habits done over and over again.


Essentially, just by feeling that the role of sport psychology is an important enough role to include within their programs/franchise that they are telling their players about what their culture is about. That EVERYTHING matters, and that THEY matter.  As cliché as it may be – that investing in the individual pays the greatest dividends. And that they trust that a dedicated focus on the process of success is way more important than focusing ON the success itself. A culture of success isn’t always about what you preach, but instead what you give your attention to.


Stuart Singer, M.Ed., and PsyD (ABD) is the Director of WellPerformance, a Mental Performance Coaching and Consulting practice, and the creator of the DoSo app https://t.co/R61vbpda4X . For more information regarding this topic he can be contacted at ssinger@wellperformancecoach.com or follow him on twitter @wellperformance, or instagram: wellperformance



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