Psychology… Effort versus Details - Complementary Training
Psychology… Effort versus Details

Psychology… Effort versus Details

I was just reading interview with coach Buddy Morris and he made couple of insights on the difference between working with pro athletes and college athletes. I don’t know how it is working with college athletes and in that kind of environment, but I do know how it is to work with Serbian pro soccer athletes and pro volleyball players. At least I think I know.

My 2 cents for today is that there is not a lot of info out there that deals with psychology of working with pro athletes. You know, organizing training, monitoring, motivation and stuff. In my opinion, 80% of results comes from doing the basics with full effort and commitments, while other 20% comes from doing the details and other fancy-shcmensy stuff. There is no point on doing advanced loading patterns, specialized exercises, chains, bands, periodization schemes, supplementation and stuff  with half-assed effort and sucking at the basics. I see a lot of coaches talking about CNS fatigue, hormonal system load, advanced recovery procedures, EMS, gadgets, etc. while their athletes are unable to do a proper BW squat, 10 pull ups and a clap push-up. Well, to do that you need to freakin’ training hard (in the basics) in the first hand.

The problem I deal with is how to motivate the athletes to do the basics with full effort commitment. How do you approach the group, how do you motivate them to keep pushing hard and smart. We know that athletes doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, but the info stops here. Do we need to teach them how to fish (if they actually give a fuck about that, and pro’s actually don’t in most of the cases) or we need not to give them any choice? How do we juggle the team as a whole and adapt to individual (character, emotional) differences? This is the skill of coaching that you don’t learn in school nor from books. And I am first to admit that I have problems with this. Hell, stop writing about periodization stuff and other sport science crap, and let’s deal with the fact that you need to make a guy squat regularly and deeply when:

1. He is not playing in the game but rather warms up the bench
2. His paycheck is delayed for 3 months
3. His girlfriend banged his co-player from the club
4. He got ankle sprain while helping his friend move furniture to another apartment

Let’s get back to real life people.

I remember one quote from NSCA journal when they made a poll on ‘periodization use’ of training in American Football. One guy answered that he trains them when they are not broken. That keeps ringing in my ears since then, especially now.

Hell, we need to take mindset, culture and everything into context, get more pragmatic, do the basics and stop obsessing about advanced stuff. Stop pretending you are an expert coach who knows all about training planning, periodization while you are unable to make your athletes do the basics. Keep it simple stupid.



I am a physical preparation coach from Belgrade, Serbia, grew up in Pula, Croatia (which I consider my home town). I was involved in physical preparation of professional, amateur and recreational athletes of various ages in sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, martial arts and tennis. Read More »