Take Care of the Little Things

"Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves." "Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves." Most of you have heard that phrase before, right?!?! Did you ever stop to think about what it really means? What are the little things? What are the big things? And, how do the big things take care of themselves?

As an athlete you need to focus on the "little things", the aspects of your game that you directly control. You have control over how you execute your offense and defense. You have control over your hustle, your speed, your drive and your effort. You have control as you are positioning your body against your opponent. You have control over your attitude, your spirit, your passion, and your good sportsmanship.

The bigger things are not in your direct control. Don't concern yourself with the referees (or officials), or the way the other team is performing. You can't control the crowd, the coaches, or your teammates. Don't focus on these aspects. The bigger things will take care of themselves.

If you focus on the bigger things- the score, the calls, or the opponent, then your individual effort will suffer. Blocks will be missed, rebounds will be lost, turn-overs will happen. Keep your mind and body focused on only the items that you can control and that you need to perform.

When you execute the little things to perfection, then the score and the victory will take care of themselves! The victory will happen. It will happen because each one of you has done your part. Your collective efforts will come together as a victory.

(permission granted to reproduce this speech as long as author and website are sighted.
Thanks! - author - Mike Sellers, website - PreGameSpeeches.com)

Are Pre Game Speeches Beneficial?

If you have been fortunate enough to have experienced an emotional, from-the-heart pre game speech in your lifetime, then you know the answer to the question. Of course pre game speeches are beneficial. Even if a speech only resonates with the players for 5 minutes into the game, that is five minutes at peak performance that they might not have had otherwise. There are many studies, writings and testimonies on the internet to support the benefits of pre game speeches.

In the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Supplement for Fundamentals of Coaching for Colleges and Universities, Lesson Plan 28 states: "Through movies, television and tradition, we all have experienced the magical powers of a pregame pep talk. In fact, research has shown that most coaches believe that giving their team an emotional message before a game is a “must” (Mack, 1999)." The lesson goes on and provides tasks for coaches to do to prepare them for pre game talks.

In "An Exploratory Study of the Effects of Pregame Speeches on Team Efficacy Beliefs" by Tiffanye M. Vargas-Tonsing and John B. Bartholomew the researchers found that: "a possible explanation for the benefits of pregame speeches is that they result in enhanced performance efficacy. Self-efficacy is defined as a person's belief in his or her ability to perform a specific task."

"According to efficacy theory, efficacy perceptions are based on four principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and emotional arousal (Bandura, 1977). Of these, verbal persuasion is perhaps the most convenient and readily available method for coaches, especially in the moments immediately prior to a game. Not only is verbal persuasion important for its convenience and availability, but athletic teams also consider verbal persuasion to be one of the most effective methods coaches use to build efficacy feelings."

"In summary, the results of this study indicate a coach's potential to increase athletes' feelings of team efficacy and confidence prior to competition through the effective use of a persuasive pregame speech. The further exploration of this efficacy-enhancing technique would benefit coaches in that verbal persuasion is an easily altered and readily available tool."

Yes, pre game speeches are beneficial, necessary and valued. Fire up you team for their next game with what you've learned from the website and many others.