By Drew Sosebee. First blog post by Coach Drew!!!

How to Create a Better Elite Drill Environment: Audible confirmations and affirmations. It is not enough to simply lead by example. There must an environment where coaches can close their eyes and know they are in the midst of a highly competitive environment. Things we should head include: grunting, breathing, self talk, communication across the court(s) amongst peers, feet squeaking…

Appropriate reponses: You win the point — verbal confirmation followed by a physical display. Examples: “Ya! That’s it”, “Ya! Come on”, “Yeeessss”, “That’s it right there”. Notice these are all examples of confirmation. This sends a message to yourself that you fully intended to perform well and do your best to win that point and not only that but predicted that you would do so.

Verbal Confirmations: Words on confirmation send your opponent/teammate a message that you fully intended to win the point and that you were invested in trying to beat them. This automatically puts more pressure on both of you the next time you face each other. Naturally, when someone verbally calls you out, you want to beat them that much more.

Demand More From Others: Be encouraging to younger/more shy players on court with you. Examples include: “Nice hustle!”, “Good try”, “that forehand is gonna be dangerous one day”, etc…Don’t be afraid to demand better effort from players close in age with you. In doing this you are indirectly forcing yourself to uphold a higher standard. Examples include: “John you gotta get to that!”, “Come on man, you can make that!”, “Come on Susan, focus and get into it.”

Demand More From Yourself: Constructive self-criticism is perfectly fine (specific instructions to yourself). Examples include: “Watch the ball!”, “Stay balanced!”, “step into that”, “be more disciplined!”, “Relax, Breathe, make that!”, etc..

Pressure equals opportunity: All of these things are ways for you to publically affirm that you care and are invested in what you are doing. This means everyone around you will know that you are trying to do your best. We all want our best to be THE BEST therefore, you will be putting pressure on yourself and those around you.