The Coach’s Role: A Poker Mentality Approach in Building Tug-of-War Champions

The Coach’s Role: A Poker Mentality Approach in Building Tug-of-War Champions
You would think that athletes sporting thick arms and brawny bodies could easily dominate the highly physical sport of tug-of-war. But you see, it takes more than strength and power to outlast your opponents in the lost Olympic sport. First featured in the 1900 Olympics in Paris, tug-of-war participants have been known to exhibit a more developed physical body compared other sportsmen. But in actuality, winning a rope war involves more than just that. In fact, it entails a combination of strength, stamina, and teamwork. If you and your team members are hoping to ace the next tug-of-war tourneys, then here are few coaching tips to help bring out your A-game.

Discipline and training
More than strength and stamina, a team who hopes to compete in a game of tug-of-war should come prepared with months of practice. Much like the Shaolin monks who practice their Kung Fu skills with discipline, a good coach knows that exposing his or members into physical and mental endurance training helps a lot in the sport of tug-of-war. That is why a number of coaches have already utilized their athlete’s free time by investing in recreational activities that stimulate brain activity, which also help develop mental endurance. Luckily, trainers and coaches could easily get a hand of board games or perhaps card games like poker too. In fact, with the technology we have today, trainers can easily log on to Partypoker or Instant Chess to help integrate a sense of focus and discipline to the athletes. As a coach, remember that your role is not only to guide your team physically but also to help them develop a sense of unwavering focus and discipline.

Teamwork and rhythm
As with any kind of team sport, consistency and teamwork are the usual decisive factors of winning a game. These are not simple skills you acquire overnight but they develop slowly by frequent rhythm training. For starters, it would be advisable to work on your pulling techniques and develop an internal clock as a team so that all of the eight members of the squad are in sync. Having a sense of rhythm could help shift the momentum in your team’s favour. See, like a dragon boat team, a unified team pull is always better than a set of untimed individual efforts. As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Aside from pulling techniques and pull timing, it would be wise as a coach to guide the team’s actual form. Integrating a 40-45 degree posture when angling for a pull should result to a stronger pulling force. Additionally, the pullers should keep the rope at waist level to keep it close to their CG. The anchor man, among others, must have undergone a lot of balance and weight training regimen to truly “anchor” the team to victory.

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