Simulating Pressure Situations in Training

What are some of the ways that you guys create pressure situations in training?

In sport there are situations like:

  • End of the game, bases loaded, full count, tied score, and the pitcher “must” strike the batter out
  • A basketball player needing to make clutch FTs down the stretch
  • (I don’t know how often this happens) But last event in a track meet and the athlete must get 1st for the team win, 2nd and they lose
  • Same situation for a wrestler and they must get a pin

So these are all situations of great pressure on the athlete.

Now, in training I know as punishment, some coaches make their athletes run laps, gassers, and such and then try to do the situation successfully. These things fatigue the athlete further, and so a successful attempt of the already fouled up task is even less likely. And we all know about gassers and the deadliness of 76-94% running.

Pushups might work, but this will interfere with some skill athletes and I don’t think they should be disadvantaged any further when they can’t even perform the task fresh. Pushups as a punishment aren’t necessarily scary or anything anyways…So the athlete will simply be doing lots of pushups… Maybe the threat of boredom will induce the desired pressure.

So we want to have stress as the possible outcome of failure in the task, but not something detrimental to the athlete’s overall development. So what do we do?

the threat of 6am practices the following day elicted pressure for my team
in track u dont create pressure situations, because u enforce straining instead of relaxing…meets give enough pressure, the more u perform at big meets the better ull be under pressure.

also rewards can work just as well as threats can in team sports.

What kind of rewards are there though?

Having no practice is an easy one but at the same time some teams need all the work they can get in terms of tactical and technical preparedness.

And what kind of rewards do we give kids? candy? video game? pizza? These things aren’t good for the athlete. Mainly I’m having trouble with this because I’m trying to think of a reward that costs nothing but maybe that’s not even a reward. For example, paying for the movies would be a good one but that costs mucho.

Back in the day my friends and I would play a type of horse game (basketball shooting game). And if you missed the shot, you had to ask out some ugly girl to the next school dance or doorbell ditch someone’s house something crazy like 3-6 times within a certain time limit. PRESSURE TO THE MAX!

In a school setting though I don’t think this sort of thing would fly.

i know we would chang practice times as a reward…we routinely practiced in the mornings

free food was a thing that worked for our team…

letting us listen to music during practice

i know the best thing for our team was that our coach would reward us 5 chicken wings for every charge our team took. (the chicken wings were given to us at the end of the year party) we were taking charges left and right sacrificing everything for that…it brought us closer together as a team too…

A lot of coaches have set it up so there is an incentive based on end of practice conditioning - every good performance is one rep off or some such thing.

I think this works pretty effectively, the only real challenges for the coach are that they need to be able to keep track, or count on their players to do so.