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Posted On June 21, 2019
You must focus on both attitude and behaviour because you must develop both if you want to have a winning team or winning athlete. It might be helpful to think of training each area separately using different exercises to improve attitude and behaviour. If you want to teach a set offence in basketball, realize that you are trying to develop a routine. Getting a player to move from Point A to Point B to Point C is teaching a practice.
Don’t think you are going to work on this all through practice and criticize the players the next day for their attitude. You have only focused on behaviours. If you want to focus on position, use different drills. If players have to run when they miss a free throw, you get them to focus on the importance of shooting free throws.
Think of training behaviour and attitude as separate areas, and that can help you organize practices and think about what you want to emphasize. Have athletes understand attitude and behaviour and the difference between the two. You can highlight the point by having them view younger athletes and more mature athletes. If you have a team of high school athletes, have them see JV players or youth leagues and have them see college athletes in a competitive setting. Point out to them before and after the observations, the qualities that you are trying to develop.
While watching the younger ones, you might point out the fun they are having, and even if they are down 50-0, they do give up. That is the attitude you want. While watching the more mature athletes, point out how one person plays at a consistent level and how another has a lot of hustle. Often, you can develop attitude and behaviour not so much by teaching, but by having athletes absorb the ideas by modelling or by observing others.
The more experienced your athletes are, the greater focus should be on attitude. If you have an experienced team that knows the offences and knows the defences, you want to design practices around the position. If you have a younger team, you want to focus more on learning and skills. You will never focus only on area or performance, but the more experienced an athlete is, the more focus should be on attitude. Never, fool yourself into thinking that production is the only attitude.
As you go higher in sports performance becomes more attitude than behaviour, but it is never all attitude. Some sports psychologists and coaches believe it is all in your head, but that is never the case. Every sport has a mental and a mechanical aspect to it – an attitude and behaviour to it – and if you do work of both, youÃll never perform as well you might.