Locker Room Quote of the Week: November 8

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"Confidence is the most important quality in all athlete-coach relationships." —Franz Stampfl, World-Renowned Track Coach

An upbeat, positive attitude is critical for athletic success.  This mindset comes in large part from the feedback you receive from your coach. Coaches must set the tone of positive confidence in their athletes every single day. Coaches, along with parents, are an athlete's strongest supporters. If they exude negative energy, success gets much harder to achieve. Few qualities destroy a relationship more quickly than negativity; it leaves athletes doubting their talents and abilities at the wrong time—before games.

Coaches are not the only ones who need to be positive and confident in the work place. Attitude is caught, not taught, and will spread through a locker room like  a virus.

It's easy to be confident and positive with your teammates when everything is going right. But how do you react when gameplay falls short and losses accumulate as the weeks fly by?

Great leaders refuse to lose confidence and, instead, enable their team's fighting spirit to stay alive. Never giving up, and maintaining a positive attitude in both the coaching staff and the athletes will insure the program's overall success—even if it's not immediately apparent and the L's outnumber the W's.

Confidence and the willingness to work hard are what track and field coach Franz Stampfl asked of his athletes. Then he supplied them with his scientific training methods to improve their chances.

Stampfl (Nov. 18, 1913 - March 19, 1995) pioneered the scientific system of interval training, which became (and still is) very popular with sprint and middle distance runners.

Interval training alternates between high intensity work and periods of rest or low activity. [To read more about interval training and to learn how to incorporate it into your workout routine, check out this exclusive interview with Penn State assistant track and field coach John Gondak.]

This system of training proved effective. Stampfl coached Sir Roger Bannister (Olympic gold medalist in the 1954 Vancouver Games) under an interval training regimen, and on May 6, 1954, Bannister ran the world's first four-minute mile.

Throughout his career, Stampfl coached many successful athletes with his scientific and technical training methods. And he always made sure to keep his athletes' confidence levels at a very high level.

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