Coach Chad Edwards is currently the Head Coach for the Spotswood Blazers Varsity Boys’ Basketball Team. Throughout his years he has experienced a great amount of success. A few years ago he had the opportunity to work with the Challace J. McMillin Center for Sport Psychology and recently shared some thoughts on his experience.
Describe your experience with working with the McMillin Center and their services. What services did they provide you and your team?
Dr. Bob Harmison and his students worked with our team weekly to help monitor and develop the mental part of the game in our basketball players. Once a week, our players participated in activities focusing on the mentality of competing. Further, our players were surveyed at various times during the week to monitor their mental state before and after games and practices. Lastly, our coaching staff was trained in “best practice” methods proven to help teams maximize performance via improved mental toughness.
What did you find helpful regarding the work the McMillin Center was able to provide for your team? How did it help you and your team achieve your goals for that season?
The most helpful for me was learning the “Dos” and “Don’ts” as a coach to help instill confidence and mental toughness in my players. Ironically, our team experienced a tremendous amount of adversity with lots of injuries, dealing with high expectations, and enduring a very slow start to the season. I am convinced our team would not have been able to overcome everything without the help of Dr. Harmison and his students. That year, our team was able to navigate the rough waters of adversity and play our best basketball at the end of the season. The mental toughness my players exuded during our playoff run to the state semi-finals was developed and maximized by our time with JMU.
What has been the lasting impact of having worked with the McMillin Center and their services? How have you and/or your coaching style changed for the better as a result of what you learned?
The lasting impact is I have become a much better coach. I now take time to teach and coach the mental side of sport and competition as much, if not more, than the X’s and O’s of basketball.
Based on your experience with the McMillin Center, what recommendations do you have for other coaches when it comes to incorporating sport psychology into their coaching?
I encourage all coaches to devote more time to sport psychology. There is no doubt that I did not fully appreciate the importance of this part of competition early in my coaching career. As a young coach, I was consumed with strategy and scheme and neglected to teach and coach effective mental strategies to my players. Experience has taught me to invest significant time in developing sport psychology among my players.