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Are You Coaching the Mental Rep?

Having expectations for communication in practices and games as well as a specific routine for this feedback loop goes a long way in developing both the player on the field and the player waiting for his turn.

Sam Parker, offensive line coach at Division II national runner-up Ferris State, learned an effective method for developing players from newly named New York Jets offensive line coach Derek Frazier. Coaches always stress the importance of getting “mental reps” to players when they are not in a play or drill, but few have defined exactly how that is done.

For Parker, it’s simply a matter of watching the game or practice together as it is happening. Everyone has a role on gameday. On game day, Parker’s backup offensive linemen stand right by him and say exactly what they are seeing happen on the field. If they see the teammate they back up doing something right or wrong, they verbalize it.

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