Talent vs Hard Work
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Anne Barrett
1M ago
You’ve most likely heard this quote. I am a big fan of it, because for the field of sport psychology, hard work is in your control, while talent is out of your control.  In any given competition, instead of focusing on which team is more talented, just focus on working as hard as you can in that game.  Instead of thinking too much about your opponent being higher ranked than you, just focus on out-working that opponent. But what about talent – what is it?  Is it the ability you are born with, or ability that you build over time with training, focus, and (ye ..read more
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The Mental Game? It’s Simple!
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Anne Barrett
4M ago
As a high school athlete, I was a pretty good soccer player. My confidence went through it’s ups and downs during those 4 years, but it was generally pretty good.  I worked hard, was in shape, had great coaches, loved my team, and loved playing.  Before my junior year, my health class teacher, who was also the football coach, watched me play soccer and promptly asked me to be the kicker on his football team.  I had never played organized football. But, being a huge fan of the game, I wanted to give it a try, and after somehow convincing my mom to let me do it, I tried out and ma ..read more
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Embodying the Cliches
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Anne Barrett
3y ago
Part 5 of 5 – Embodying the Cliches  What would sports be without cliches?  Let’s face it, some of the ones announcers often use are downright hilarious:  “What it comes down to, is the team with more points is going to win this game.”  “She’s a hard worker!” “What an athletic play!” Some would say many of these cliches are played out or even should be retired forever. But the thing with cliches is that they are said so often because they are true at their core. During the Lightning’s championship run, here are the 5 cliches that our team embodied. Take it one game at a t ..read more
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Mental Training in the time of Social Distancing
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Brian Baxter
3y ago
If you are like me, social distancing is not coming easy. I do enjoy my downtime, but for the most part, as an athlete and a coach, I thrive on my time spent with others. The time spent training, coaching, being coached, and competing with others is where I thrive, and I imagine most people reading this do too. But, here we are. And the best thing to do is use this time wisely. It’s a perfect time to work on the mental part of your game. In my experience, most athletes and coaches know the importance of confidence, focus and a strong mindset. They know it’s crucial for high level performance ..read more
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How to Handle Adversity (part 4/5 Inside the Mental Game of a State Champion)
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Brian Baxter
3y ago
At first glance, it seems like an underdog story. How does a 14th ranked team win all 5 playoff games, 4 of them against higher ranked teams?   But in our eyes, the better question would have been, how did a state championship caliber team only manage to get the 14th seed at playoffs? One of the main elements to why we only ended up ranked 14th was adversity. The thing about adversity, Once you get through it, and come out the other side everything else seems easy. You are more confident.   And one of the main elements to why we won all those high-pressure games was how we faced ..read more
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Mental Training (part 3/5 Inside the Mental Game of a State Champion)
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Brian Baxter
3y ago
Having a built-in expert in sport psychology is rare and is something that not many teams, let alone high school teams, have. But just having access isn’t enough. Coaches traditionally like full control of what goes on with their teams, and have trouble trusting an outside source to teach and implement new skills that they may know little to nothing about. Fortunately for the Franklin HS boys soccer team, Oregon Coach of the Year Ty Kovatch trusted me enough to allow me the time and freedom to implement the mental training plan I have always dreamed of putting into place. As the assistant co ..read more
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Positive Culture and Positive Coaching (part 2/5 Inside the Mental Game of a State Champion)
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Brian Baxter
3y ago
Positive Culture and Positive Coaching As I addressed in Part 1, the 2019 Franklin High School men’s soccer team had tons of talent and depth coming into the season, but you can never really tell how the chemistry is going to be. To fuse the talent with the heart, it takes the right environment, the right balance between structure and freedom, and a place where everyone feels valued.  In other words, it would take having a positive culture. According to m-w.com, culture can be defined as: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organi ..read more
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Inside the Mental Game of a State Champion (a 5 part series)
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Brian Baxter
3y ago
This year I had the pleasure to coach the Oregon 6A State boys soccer champions.  I served as an assistant coach and mental performance coach for both the varsity and JV teams.  As I write this, it’s exactly a month later, and I am still feeling the glow of the title. Friends and acquaintances I run into in the neighborhood stop me to say congratulations.  Most of them tell me just how fun the team was to watch, how much heart they played with. Thinking back and reflecting on everything that went into it has been a really valuable experience.  Not just the outcome, but the ..read more
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BOOK REVIEW The National Team
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Brian Baxter
3y ago
A great primer for the 2019 Women’s World Cup! The 1999 USA women’s soccer team did what no one would have thought possible just a few years earlier, and that included the players:  capture the attention of the nation, and bring the spotlight to soccer in the United States. Names like Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and Brianna Scurry, and of course the image of Brandi Chastain celebrating the winning PK against China are all iconic. And today’s stars like Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe are all fixtures for the US team heading to France this summer, hoping to capture American hearts al ..read more
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Anger and Performance: Sport Psychology Techniques for dealing with extreme emotions
AMPlify Sport Psychology Blog
by Brian Baxter
3y ago
“Anybody can become angry — that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power, and is not easy.” —Aristotle An essential element of sport psychology is dealing with the emotions that come with competitive athletics. Whether you are an athlete, a coach, a referee, a parent, or a fan, the higher the level of competition, the higher the emotional level can become. And the higher the emotional level, the more important it becomes to control and manage those emo ..read more
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