The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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December 12, 2012

Coaches conference to focus on emotions of sports

Too often we hear of young athletes getting into trouble and having prospective college scholarships revoked, or even college athletes being shown the door after running afoul of the law or because of “conduct detrimental to the team.”

The NFL was rocked the last two Saturdays by tragic deaths that possibly could have been avoided.

In today’s athletics world, coaching is about so much more than Xs and Os. Being in touch with a player’s emotional behavior can not only mean even more success on the field, but also help make that athlete a better person off the field.

That will be part of the message of Saturday’s Coaches Conference hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The conference, focusing on motivating the 21st century athlete, will run from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Black Knight Country Club.

The leader of the conference will be Dr. Jeff Duke, currently a professor at Central Florida. He was an assistant coach to retired head coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State and is now the head of the coaching department at UCF.

Duke developed and authored the “Three-Dimensional Pyramid of Coaching Success,” which revolutionized the athletic coaching landscape.

“The conference is not about Xs and Os,” said Mike White, director of South/Central FCA. “It deals with how to motivate today’s athletes, team cohesion, anger and emotional issues.”

Explaining Duke’s model, White said the foundation of the pyramid deals with on-the-field instruction, which of course cannot be downplayed. But Saturday’s conference “will deal with the second dimension, the mind and body of the players and all of the emotions athletes experience.”

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