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Three Ways To Boost Confidence In Your Athletes

Thursday, April, 28, 2016

Originally published in Coaches plan by the Coaching Association of Canada on coach.ca and written by Dr. Shaunna Taylor, PhD from the Canadian Sport Psychology Association. (Original post available here).

Every coach has struggled with building confidence in their athletes and team, and yet, there are surprisingly few resources that help address this important challenge. While every athlete has their own individual profile and history, there are some important foundational theories that apply to all.

Confidence really begins with the idea of belief. It emanates from an athlete’s core beliefs and is combined with the effect of real-life evidence. Core beliefs are formed throughout childhood and are integral to how we operate in our lives. They are foundational and affect the way we view the world – many of these beliefs are set by the time we reach the age of ten. They tend to drive our actions and the way we navigate life.

Belief is the “director” that often runs the entire production. Early in life, we are heavily influenced by the people who cared for us, and the early experiences that formed our worldview. Our core beliefs involve such things as whether we believe most people are essentially good (or bad), whether we are capable and powerful (or incapable and powerless), or whether life can be satisfying and joyful (or a struggle and full of sadness). Beliefs are the lens through which we determine if the glass is half full or half empty.

Although beliefs are forged at a young age, they do not have to dictate our destiny. In fact, when we re-evaluate them later in life, we can come to see that many core beliefs aren’t based on fact. But unless we examine and critique the core beliefs that drive our actions, they will continue to run the production, and we may find ourselves limited (versus being set free) to make the necessary choices that can move us in new, positive directions in life. In light of this, here are three concrete steps coaches can consider to help athletes increase their confidence:

1. Help them become aware of – and challenge – their core beliefs:

Some of the athletes you are coaching will have very positive and empowering core beliefs. When mixed with a strong work ethic and a solid base of skills, this can be a potent combination. But you may also have athletes with a strong base of skills who also have negative core beliefs. As a result, the confidence levels – and performance record – in this second group may often be more inconsistent and volatile.

One way to help athletes put their core beliefs to the test is to challenge them with evidence. For example, show athletes (through videos, storytelling, recalling past performances as a group or individually) that they are capable of overcoming adversity, or achieving past positive performance outcomes. Create a highlight reel, or encourage them to come up with one of their own. Show them the evidence of their past accomplishments.

If your athlete has a generally negative self-view, or you observe negative body language, it can help to offer up evidence of their capabilities. Talk about your belief in them, and provide them with goals to override their defeatist perspective. This can serve to build competency which, in turn, can lead to greater confidence over time.

2. Build a confidence and evidence inventory:

One form of irrefutable evidence that can demonstrate an athlete’s capability is examples of past wins and strong performances. But sport is a dynamic and often heartless arena, and wins come and go. Coaches need to build a steady bank of strong past performances, and include current examples of how the athlete’s strong work ethic is paying off – as well as evidence of skill progression and mastery – in order to challenge an athlete’s negative core beliefs.

Athletes can also incorporate visualization while reviewing techniques and tactics through mental rehearsal. Coaches can also encourage them to engage in constructive self-talk that involves optimistic, evidence-based statements.

3. Keep your standards high:

Coaches who maintain high expectations for their athletes and teams should also follow up with constructive and encouraging actions. If you believe an athlete can reach their goals and you have faith they can improve, then be sure to act like this is the case. Expect hard work and commitment, factors that are within your athlete’s control and have nothing to do with outcomes. This will translate into a greater probability of encouraging a self-fulfilling prophecy in the athlete.

The belief we have in ourselves drives our actions and our ability to strive for positive performance. Don’t compromise or lower your work ethic, be sure to create a positive environment, and incorporate a relentless pursuit of daily improvement and mastery. Setting the bar high will drive everyone – athletes and coaches included – to rise up and feel confident when it comes to aiming for their goals.

Shaunna Taylor, PhD, is a sport leader at PacificSport Okanagan and co-chair of the managing council of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia in the Masters of Coaching program. She has been consulting with coaches and athletes from the grassroots level to the Olympic/Paralympic level for 15+ years.

Coaches plan is an online magazine for Canada’s coaches published three times a year by the Coaching Association of Canada.  To read more Coaches plan articles, please visit coach.ca.

OFSAA Gymnastics 2016

Thursday, April, 21, 2016

OFSAA Gymnastics Festival 2016

April 25-26, 2016, Windsor (SWOSSAA)

Convenor: Melanie Sylvestre-Nabben, ESC EJ Lajeunesse

Full results available on OFSAA Gymnastics website


-- RESULTS --
 

Artistic Gymnastics

Level 6

Vault

Name Association School
Lindsay Stakes COSSA PECI
Katharine Herron COSSA Bayside
Julia Pearce SWOSSAA Cardinal Carter

Bars

Name Association School
Christine Tullio CISAA Toronto French
McKenna Galbraith CWOSSA West Hill
Bayleigh Hooper CWOSSA St. Mary's

Beam

Name Association School
Bayleigh Hooper CWOSSA St. Mary's
Christine Tullio CISAA Toronto French
Victoria Schrapp SOSSA St - Paul

Floor

Name Association School
Katharine Herron COSSA Bayside
Mikayla Girdier CWOSSA Owen Sound
Abby Bolton SOSSA Ridgeway Crystal
Level 5

Vault

Name Association School
Gabrielle Petryshyn SWOSSAA Sandwich SS
Megara Horton COSSA St. Peter's
Mackenzie McAllister EOSSAA Holy Trinity

Bars

Name Association School
Mackenzie McAllister EOSSAA Holy Trinity
Taylor Saunders SWOSSAA Walkerville
Bailey Meraw COSSA Bayside

Beam

Name Association School
Sarah Watson SOSSA Ridgeway Crystal
Hannah Sharp SOSSA Myer
Megara Horton COSSA St. Peter's

Floor

Name Association School
Lauren Norris COSSA Lindsay
Taylor Saunders SWOSSAA Walkerville
Larissa Giliforte SOSSA Lakeshore
Level 4

Vault

Name Association School
Lauren Davidson CWOSSA West Hill
Sydney Seymour EOSSAA St-Joseph's
Emilie Bonin NOSSA Champlain

Bars

Name Association School
Isabelle Wilson CWOSSA Kincardine
Mya Baptiste EOSSAA Holy Trinity
Emilie Bonin NOSSA Champlain

Beam

Name Association School
Alexandra Tanner NOSSA College Notre-Dame
Lauren Davidson CWOSSA WHSS
Kassandra Yonemitsu COSSA St. Peter's

Floor

Name Association School
Emilie Bonin NOSSA Champlain
Kassandra Yonemitsu COSSA St. Peter's
Lauren Davidson CWOSSA WHSS
Level 3

Vault

Name Association School
Emma Martin CWOSSA Saugeen
Courtney Ferguson NOSSA Confederation
Ruby Hall Elwood CWOSSA Kincardine

Bars

Name Association School
Makenzie Gratton NOSSA College Notre-Dame
Natalie Starr COSSA Lindsay
Courtney Ferguson NOSSA Confederation

Beam

Name Association School
Ruby Hall Elwood CWOSSA Kincardine
Mikaela Trudeau COSSA Centre Hasting
Taya Angius SWOSSAA St-Joseph's

Floor

Name Association School
Christine Cousineau NOSSA College Notre-Dame
Ariel McDonald CISAA Toronto French
Grace Pan CISAA Ridley College
Level 2

Vault

Name Association School
Jordan Daniels CWOSSA WHSS
Michaela Ethier NOSSA College Notre-Dame
Laurène Pietri CISAA Toronto French
Ariane Pietri CISAA Toronto French

Bars

Name Association School
Rebecca Alain CISAA Toronto French
Ariane Pietri CISAA Toronto French
Laurène Pietri CISAA Toronto French

Beam

Name Association School
Huntar-Shana Rodic NOSSA College Notre-Dame
Charlotte Knapp CISAA Toronto French
Rebecca Alain CISAA Toronto French

Floor

Name Association School
Huntar-Shana Rodic NOSSA College Notre-Dame
Jordan Daniels CWOSSA WHSS
Rebecca Alain CISAA Toronto French

 

Level 1

Vault

Name Association School
Meghan Mosgrove EOSSAA Napanee
Grace Vandervelde COSSA Centennial
Eryn Murphy COSSA Lindsay

Bars

Name Association School
Sarah Waito SWOSSAA E.J. Lajeunesse
Grace Vandervelde COSSA Centennial
Hayley Chartrand NOSSA Champlain

Beam

Name Association School
Meghan Mosgrove EOSSAA Napanee
Dominique Plante NOSSA College Notre-Dame
Emma Gregoire SWOSSAA E.J. Lajeunesse

Floor

Name Association School
Grace Vandervelde COSSA Centennial
Sara Gauthier NOSSA Marymount
Casey Baillargeon SWOSSAA Riverside

 

Aerobic Gymnastics

Open Division

School Association Score
College Notre-Dame NOSSA  22.40
Bayside SS COSSA  22.15
Toronto French School CISAA 21.35
St. Peter's COSSA 20.45

Novice Division

School Association Score
Manitoulin NOSSA 21.85
Centennial COSSA 21.50
Toronto French CISAA 20.85
College Notre-Dame NOSSA 20.75

 

Keynote Speaker Nina Spencer Confirmed for Women's Sport School

Tuesday, April, 12, 2016
There is still time to register for the OFSAA 2016 Women's Sport School Conference before the deadline of April 15th. Female teacher-coaches in Ontario cannot miss this opportunity!

OFSAA is pleased to announce the keynote speaker for our Women's Sport School - speaker, author and coach, Nina Spencer.

Nina is a Toronto-based international keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, speaker’s coach and Canadian bestselling author of Getting Passion out of Your Profession: How to keep loving your living come what may.

Check out this link to learn all about Nina. AND visit NinaSpencer.com

Attending OFSAA Members Will Learn How to:

• Choose specific language to positively shift/influence attitude and behaviour in self, teams, colleagues and others.
• Identify, acknowledge and confidently declare professional self-worth/what they bring to their coaching table.
• Foster a sense of humour for their own spirit and passion, as well as that of their teams.
• Modify perspective, (and show their teams how to do the same) to successfully deal with changeable “weather.”
• Identify strategies for protecting and maintaining physical and emotional energy, especially when stressed.
• Cut themselves some slack and persevere during trying times of rough coaching patches.
• Identify creative ways to stay in touch with their circle of influence, and expand that circle.
• Regularly/nurture & grow professional connections and networks within their teams & DSBs.
• Recognize the importance of attending conferences and other professionally focused events (such as those hosted by the OFSAA!), to keep in touch with other enthusiastic, energized coaches in their DSB and beyond, as another source for sustaining passion for their profession.

Why? Because… Life is change, and work/coaching is change, but passion for your profession and extra-curricular contributions, and a sincere desire to work in the best of harmony with students/team members, and fellow coaches and colleagues, is optional... and each one of us gets to choose.

So… Make your choice adventurous stranger; strike the bell and bide the danger. Or wonder 'til it drives you mad, what would have followed if you had?

OFSAA Awards Available

Tuesday, April, 12, 2016

OFSAA has a number of awards available to student-athletes and teacher-coaches. Nominate somebody you know deserves recognition today!

Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship

The Brian Maxwell Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to two student athletes that will be continuing their post secondary education at a Canadian College or University. Starting 2015-16 there will now be first, second and third place scholarships awarded to each a male and female annually as follows:

  • First place:   $8,000
  • Second place:  $4,000
  • Third place: $2,000

Preference shall be given to a student whose character is reflective of qualities that Brian Maxwell demonstrated in his life: honesty, integrity, compassion and an unwavering quest to accomplish the best he could academically and athletically while supporting his fellow team members.

Download the Application Form
Application deadline is June 15, 2016.


Colin Hood Award

The Colin Hood Award is given out annually to one graduating male, one graduating female, and one coach in every school in the province who, throughout their high school career, have been committed to the success of school sport at their school and within their Association. The names of the recipients MUST be provided to us before the awards will be shipped.

Application deadline is April 29, 2016

Complete the online application form.

 

OFSAA Alumni Scholarship

This year, four OFSAA Alumni Scholarships will be presented to student-athletes in pre-determined OFSAA member Associations from those applications received by the deadline of April 1, 2016. The value of each scholarship is $500. Only students from member schools in the following Associations may submit applications for consideration in 2015-16: NOSSA, SWOSSAA, GBSSA, YRAA.

Download the application form.

 

 

Character Athlete Award

Once a year, OFSAA awards the Character Athlete Award to two recipients (one male, one female) who embody OFSAA’s values of leadership, commitment, equity, respect and sportsmanship. 

The Character Athletes will be profiled in our Bulletin magazine, on our website, and in our Enewsletter. They will also receive a $1000 scholarship from Josten's, and a plaque from OFSAA commemorating this accomplishment.

OFSAA Character Athlete nominations are due Monday, May 2

To nominate one of your student-athletes for the Character Athlete Award, please fill out the application form and submit it online.

 

 

CAO Coaching Excellence Award

More information at this link!

Application for OFSAA sanction to attend invitational/ exhibition events in other provinces or the US

Wednesday, April, 6, 2016

Schools attending invitational/ exhibition events in another province or in the U.S. (NFHS or State Sanctioned) MUST receive OFSAA sanction.

To be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the event. Please note signatures are mandatory and sanction will not be given without them.

Application for OFSAA sanction to HOST an invitational/ exhibition event

Wednesday, April, 6, 2016

An OFSAA sanctioned invitational event is one which adheres to the OFSAA Articles and By-Laws and is structured so that the standards and practices reflect the intent and goals of the OFSAA Playing Regulations. Any event that involves out-of-province teams or teams from the U.S. MUST apply for OFSAA sanction.

The OFSAA name or logo, or the word Championship, Ontario, or Canada may NOT be used in your invitational event title or information.

Boys' Rugby Eligibility Issue

Tuesday, April, 5, 2016

With OFSAA's policy that all school teams attending our Championships use OFSAA-eligible athletes during all competition, it's become an issue when Boys' Rugby teams call up junior players to participate with the team, however this would now render that team ineligible.

ATTENTION ALL COACHES: (the following applies for the 2016 Championship) please read carefully and if you have questions contact OFSAA.

OFSAA Boys' Rugby playing regulations, section 7 (iii):
"meet the following age requirement: the individual's birth certificate indicates that he has not reached his 19th birthday by January 1st prior to the start of the school year and is a minimum of 16 years of age on the starting date of the championship in which the competition is held."

OFSAA By-Law 5 - Eligibility for Competition, Section 3 (c):
"OFSAA Championships or Festivals for team sports shall only involve teams which have used OFSAA-eligible student-athletes in all competition during the school year. OFSAA-eligible means the student meets all eligibility requirements as defined in the OFSAA playing regulations and the OFSAA by-laws. Any team using an ineligible student-athlete(s) in any competition during the school year forfeits the right to participate in the OFSAA Championship or Festival."

If a senior team competes with a 15 year old student-athlete who is not eligible to participate at the OFSAA championship, that team forfeits the right to qualify.

Championship Participant Limits Reminder

Wednesday, March, 30, 2016

Each team attending an OFSAA Championship may register up to a maximum of X number of participants. This includes all players, coaches, trainers or otherwise team personnel. 

Only registered participants may represent the school and/ or attend Championship activities including the banquet and receive medals.

We set a record at one OFSAA Championship last year with 16 "coaches" on the sideline for one team and it's a record that will never be matched.

Championship Participant Limits
Sport Participant Limit
Field Hockey 23
Basketball 18
Volleyball 18
Hockey 25
Lacrosse 30
Soccer 24
Rugby 34
Baseball 22
Curling 7
Football 56

Nominations Open For Coaching Excellence Awards

Tuesday, March, 22, 2016

The Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO) Coaching Excellence Awards aim to recognize the outstanding achievements and significant contributions coaches have made to both their sport and athletes in Ontario. The selection of recipients (1 Male and 1 Female) is based on their unique contribution to sport through continuous development. The awards do not reflect the accomplishments of a coach in any one year; rather the award is designed to recognize the contributions a coach has made over a period of years.

2016 Coaching Excellence Awards will be presented September 17 in Toronto.

OFSAA is responsible for the selection of a male and a female coach in the School Sport category. This award is open to active teacher coaches with a minimum of 5 years coaching experience. Nominated coaches must have coached 2 or more sports in a school year over the period of 5 years. The nominated coach must have influenced the development of new coaches and have shown evidence of program building as well as encouraging athletes to give back to sports. Furthermore the nominated coaches’ coaching style has proven to be ethical, demonstrated sportsmanship and positive game behaviour.

Nominations will only be accepted from association representatives in the identified regions.  The OFSAA Coaching Committee will select one (1) male and one (1) female recipient from the nominations received. Nominations are due Monday, May 23rd, 2016.

download the 2016 OFSAA Coaching Excellence Award nomination form here

 

For 2015-16 each region below is encouraged to select two (2) nominations (male or female) for submission to the selection committee.

 

Female nominations to be received from:

Region 1 (North): NEOAA, NOSSA, NWOSSAA

Region 2 (Central): GBSSA, LOSSA, YRAA

Region 3 (East): COSSA, EOSSAA, NCSSAA

 

Male nominations to be received from:

Region 4 (West): CWOSSA, SWOSSAA, WOSSAA

Region 5 (South): GHAC, ROPSSAA, SOSSA

Region 6 (Metro): CISAA, TDCAA, TDSSAA

  

In addition to the attached nomination form, associations may attach any supporting documents (i.e. Letters of reference, news articles, etc.)

 

Completed nominations should be scanned to:

Shamus Bourdon: shamus@ofsaa.on.ca 

 

2015 Recipients were Darlene Denniss from Parkside CI (WOSSAA) and Mark Lewis from Seaway DHS (EOSSAA)

 

OFSAA Hockey hosts make Cinderella run

Saturday, March, 12, 2016

OFSAA's AAA Boys' Hockey Championships ran March 7-10 in Windsor and LaSalle.

The Windsor Star covered the Championship including this article by Jim Parker chronicling one team's unlikely run.

 

WILDCATS WILD RIDE COMES TO END WITH SILVER MEDAL

LASALLE — Instead of two days and out, the Villanova Wildcats took fans on a wild four-day ride.

But Villanova’s battle for OFSAA gold at the boys’ AAA hockey championship came up short in Thursday’s final game.

The No. 1-seeded Peterborough St. Peter Saints took the gold with a 4-0 win over the Wildcats before nearly 1,000 fans at the Vollmer Complex.

“It’s frustrating, but in the end, we just wanted to be here and we’re extremely proud of what we did,” Wildcats captain Ernie Godden said.

Thursday’s silver medal was no small feat for a Villanova team that only got into the event as the tournament host after being dumped in the WECSSAA final.

The reward for entry was the 16th and last seed in the tournament.

“There are 750 high school hockey teams in Ontario that would love to be here,” St. Peter head coach Steve Stanlick said. “No, that’s crazy (the 16th seed made it). That’s a testament to how well Villanova played.”

   

The Wildcats took out the No. 3 seed and the No. 5 seed in preliminary play to win their pool. “A lot of people were expecting us to go 0-3 in this tournament,” Wildcats goalie Lucas DiLuca said.

“We played a lot of great teams and beat them.”

Earlier Thursday, Chris Francia and Jacob DeLuca scored in a 2-1 win over No. 13 Sault Ste. Marie St. Mary’s College to send the Wildcats to the gold-medal game for the first time ever.

It sent Villanova students scrambling to get their parents to sign notes in order for them to get out of school as they raced to make Bristol board signs to cheer on their favourite players.

“I’m been trying to get to this thing for 17 years and you don’t want to waste an opportunity like this,” Wildcats head coach Grant O’Keefe said.

But a roster with eight players in Grade 9 was simply overmatched and out of gas against the Saints, who claimed their second OFSAA title in four years and their third podium finish over that time.

“Honestly, we just got outmatched,” DiLuca said. “What can you do at this point? It’s just a tough game. These guys played awesome and we didn’t have it in us. We just couldn’t win that last game.”

   

The Saints got an early lead, played disciplined without taking a penalty in the game, and never opened a door for the Wildcats to slip through — the Cinderella story never got the golden finish.

“You always start to believe,” Godden said of hopes going into the final. “In my heart, it’s always going to be a Cinderella story because you never think this would happen, especially with the team that we had.”

It will take weeks for the Wildcats to put this accomplishment in perspective and O’Keefe was doing his best to convey that to players after Thursday’s loss.

“Really, you can’t be disappointed when you exceed expectations,” O’Keefe said. “It’s when you come up short that it’s heartbreaking.

“I’m already pretty good with it. Coming in second with the lowest-ranked team, the youngest team by a mile, I’m pretty proud.”

The silver medal will no doubt be a golden moment talked about at Villanova and among players for years to come.

“Right now, it’s deflating,” DiLuca said. “In a few weeks from now, we’re going to look back and say, ‘We got silver in OFSAA and we weren’t even supposed to be close to this.’”

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