Want to help your team peak in the playoffs?
Looking to go on a miraculous run through the playoffs with an average team?
Or are you trying to finally breakthrough and beat one of the elite programs in your sport?
Or are you top-seeded and wondering how your team will handle the pressure of expectations?
Here are five strategies to ensure that your team is motivated, fearless, and focused when it counts the most – the playoffs!
1. Stick to what got you there.
Do what works for you. Don’t feel like you need to change up your whole routine and game plan. Stick to what works for you and trust it to work again during the playoffs. Stay consistent with your routine. Remember that consistent preparation leads to consistent performance.
2. Execute the small things. Don’t beat yourself.
Championship teams are usually the ones who consistently do all the small things necessary to win. Focus your team on the top 3-5 battles you need to control to win the overall war. By focusing on and taking care of these small things, you force your opponents to beat you and often avoid beating yourself.
3. Know how to quickly refocus teammates.
Coaches and captains must know how to quickly and effectively refocus teammates when they are down, distracted, aggravated, or scared. You can’t allow people to go into the tank when you need their focus, confidence, and performance. It’s the ability to keep their team’s competing play after play, rather than succumbing to the inevitable adversity, distractions, and hassles of competition, that determines the outcome of many games.
4. Compete aggressively.
Take it to people, dictate the tempo… Go out and play the game with passion and vigor. Often it is the individual and team that is the most aggressive that comes out on top.
5. Become a team of DESTINY
Many of the teams that I have been fortunate to witness win championships felt they were destined to do so. No matter what situation they found themselves in, whether they were down with little time left, had a tough injury to a key player, or weren’t getting the appropriate calls, they somehow felt that it was never enough to deter them from reaching their ultimate goal. They persisted on and trusted the process that it was all meant to be. Give your team every reason to feel they are destined for success. Assuming you have paid the price of success, remind your team that the training, your practices, and the lessons you learned throughout the season have all prepared you for this moment in time.
You want your team to feel – “This is our time.”