Coaching Mental Toughness with the “Minimum Effective Dose” Concept

November 19, 2023 by and
Credit: Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Recently on the Chasing Excellence podcast, we have focused on answering listener and viewer questions in a “coach’s corner” style format. Here’s a question we received from “Victor” about coaching mental toughness with his daughter. Ben used the opportunity to discuss a concept frequently referred to as the “minimum effective dose.”

Victor’s Question:

I'm doing my sprint session at a local stadium and notice a father playing soccer with his kid. The daughter, who appears to be between 6 and 10, is struggling with missing the ball and tripping. The dad is playing the game with some intensity - not being cruel but also not taking it easy on her.

As a result, she starts crying. Despite the dad's attempts to motivate and encourage her, he eventually gives up.

How would you have approached this? How would you teach a kid about mental toughness and handling challenges when they become more difficult?

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