Blueprint of a Champion
Coach outline of implementation with a team
Blueprint of a Champion the workbook is available online at the TCA website,
tcavolleyball.com , is a “.pdf” document that is available free to all TCA players.
Blueprint of a Champion
The Blueprint of a Champion will help to develop the Complete Athlete in a clear and concise workbook that
doubles as a road map for success on and off the court.
The objective of this workbook is to provide high school, club and collegiate athletes with concepts and
ideas that can help them to develop the complete athlete, on and off the court. This workbook will discuss
several important issues including athlete self-assessment, goal setting, character development, action
planning, and tools for athletes to reach their goals. Volleyball may very well be the most important part of a
student athlete’s life development; we need to treat it that way. Every player will receive a complimentary
Blueprint of a Champion work book downloadable from the TCA Website.
Vision of a dream: Creating a vision of a dream or desired outcome is in essence a goal. Are we limiting
ourselves by not creating a vision, not dreaming of what we would like to become? Do we take the time,
thought and effort to really look at what we would LOVE to accomplish?
Questions: Is there a commitment to mediocrity in sports? Do athletes lack direction? Is there a sense of
accountability throughout the season? Do athletes equate and understand that success on the court can
equate to success off the court?
Map / GPS: Are our athletes lost at sea? Do they lack they the GPS needed to find their way? The
Blueprint will provide the needed life jacket for our athletes to swim to shore.
Student Athlete Self Assessment: Who am I? Why do I play? What are my strengths and weaknesses?
Where do I see myself in 2, 5, and 10 years?
Choice / Responsibility: Why this is our greatest responsibility as coaches to ensure that we provide our
athletes with tools to be successful long after they are finished playing volleyball.
The Wooden Effect: Are the principles of teaching and character by legendary Coach John Wooden still
present, needed or desired in athletics today?
Passion: They won’t care how much we know, until they know how much we care.
Volleyball is LIFE: “Volleyball has given me everything that I have.” “ These lessons that I learned from
the game that I love have changed my life.”
7 Key Steps: Seven key steps to achieving all of your goals and dreams in volleyball and life.
Taking action! Creating a detailed action plan for student-athletes on and off the court
The Blueprint your partner: How utilizing the Blueprint of a Champion will help your players achieve their
goals and dreams while ensuring them a map for success on and off the court.
How to Implement the goal setting exercise, the workbook Blueprint of a
Champion with your team
Alow me to introduce myself, I am Bruce Powers, I can be thanked or blamed for
anything and everything in the Blueprint of a Champion workbook.
Part of the vision of TCA is to implement and teach life skills to our players. The
“Blueprint” workbook is part of that vision. The most common refrain I hear from
our coaches is “How do I get this thing going?”
To help with getting the “Blueprint” going with all our teams I have put together
this brief outline.
The “Blueprint” started out 10 years ago as simple goal cards, and inspirational
quotes. Each year I found there was more needed in order to teach the skill of
goal setting. As coaches we have a great desire to see our player protégé’s
achieve on the court, it becomes a big part of our life.
The biggest point I would make is that goal setting not be a one time get it done
exercise. The goal setting process should become a life long skill, and part of
teaching that is it should become something that is routinely done with your team
all season long, it should include: Completion of the workbook by the players; the
journaling of small goals to be achieved at practice and the steps taken to realize
these goals. It should include some visualization exercises led by the coach.
It should also include team performance goals for tournaments. With the coach
moderating and focusing, the team contributing and learning what performance
goals are and how they should be set.
Goals and the process of achievement should be focused on at some time
before, during or after each practice. It could be a 3-5 minute period. Reviewing
goal setting basics, team practice stats, some practices it may only be the act of
checking on the athletes to determine that they are completing the exercise of
writing their daily practice goals and journaling.
Taking the time and showing an interest in the athlete’s progress will reinforce
the fact that you care about each athlete and the goals and dreams they have.
This can be done when reviewing practice goals, by making sure they have
focused in on specific aspects of a skill, have a way of measuring their
performance and have noted what to do the next practice that will help them
realize their practice goals. These are concrete actions that help the athlete to
find the best path to accomplish what they desire and an avenue for the coach to
As the author of the workbook I will explain the vision I have of implementation
and then following this vision is a more concrete outline of chronological
implementation. Hopefully, by doing both, this gives a more complete picture of
how to accomplish this incredibly important process.
Why I Do Goal setting with my team I am a motivated husband-father, coach
and business person. I want to be associated with motivated athletes, family
members and employees that want to be involved. The goal setting process
helps individuals, short term and long term; it teaches valuable life skills, provides
motivation and encourages each person to reach high. Action plans with
intermediate goals help to develop a personal belief system in what is possible.
When individual goals coincide with the goals of a group or team, a synergistic
effect is created. Larger more complex goals are attainable. Individual goals and
team goals feed of each other, energize and motivate the participants in a
manner that creates a lot of excitement. I truly believe in the positive aspects of
goal setting not just because of my own experiences, I have seen first hand the
amazing things that are accomplished by people, once they start developing the
habit of goal setting, that previously had no direction,.
Timing of starting the process with teams
At the outset of club practice, even before all teams are settled, my goal is to
assign the first sections of the workbook (all the pages up to the Create and Own
Your Vision) to be completed within the first month of practice. If this has not
happened at exactly this timing, it does not matter. Just get started NOW!
At the same time I want to get all the athletes on my team setting practice goals,
starting with the first team practice. If you have not had them doing that yet, get
them started on it today, the very next practice.
I Instruct the players on each team to write a practice goal on the whiteboard
where we all can see. I review with them whether the goals on the board are
SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Realistic with a Time frame; without
getting critical of the goals they have chosen. Sometimes I have to focus them in
on the fact the goal on the board is not a small practice goal but a much larger
goal and they need to break the goal down into smaller baby steps so they can
achieve something within a few practices and see progress towards their bigger
During this first month period usually after a week of putting goals on the white
board, I get the athletes started on utilizing the “Practice Goals and Journaling”
pages of the Blueprint workbook. This is done in conjunction with writing the goal
on the whiteboard from then on.
With high level 16’s and all 17’s and 18’s I instruct them to download and print
out a more detailed “Practice Goals and Evaluation” document after they have
been writing their practice goals down on the whiteboard for a week. (See last
page of this document)They will use this form to write down their goals every
practice. I use the whiteboard sometimes longer than a week with practice goals,
to get them zeroed in on just exactly how they should be setting practice goals;
that they are small, stair stepped goals. The specificity, the unit of measurement,
the type (skill, mental, verbal, physical) and the time frame of a practice goal. I
also check their goals/evaluation form each practice at the outset, then weekly as
the season progresses.
At the start of the second month of practice I assign the action plan portion of the
workbook. I give them 7-10 days to get it done depending on the perceived load
they have with school, practice etc. This usually is assigned just before the New
Year, when most of the students have time available, if less time is available or it
is later than the Christmas break then I give them 2 weeks to get it done.
The other worksheets in the workbook are assigned incrementally, and the ideas
of those worksheets are focused on at the time of the assignment. For example,
Positive Self Talk; we will look to implement it in practice that day when we
assign it and in the following practices, stressing positive thinking, self talk and
encouraging their team mates. We zero in on practice goals that focus on it.
Then we move on to the next worksheet.
About 2 weeks before the first tournament we sit down as a team and talk about
team performance goals for that upcoming tournament, how the individual
performance goals work hand in hand to achieve the greater goal of the team.
We usually discuss this for about 15-20 minutes. This is a high priority meeting
that shows the team that goal setting is not just talked about and assigned, but
utilized by the team and the coaching staff to focus efforts, motivate and show
unity of direction.
Meetings such as this take place prior to each subsequent tournament day and
are usually shorter, about 10-15 minutes after a practice. They are very focused
and usually start by reviewing our previous team performance goal and what is
still needing to be accomplished.
The following pages are a chronological order of implementation.
Assign the Blueprint
a) Have the players download and print out the Blueprint of a Champion from the TCA website.
b) Download and print out “practicegoalseval.doc” attachment.
c) Instruct the athletes to purchase a 3 ring binder at least 1 inch.
d) Purchase a 5 divider pack.
e) Label the 5 dividers and insert them into the binder in this order:
Blueprint of a Champion workbook
Team Handouts and Charts
Notes & contacts
A )Instruct athletes to print out the Practice Goals and Eval document.
b) Have them write in their practice goals on the top portion of the paper, before arriving to practice.
c) Instruct the athletes to complete the practice evaluation portion after practice on their own time.
d) Have them do one paper for each practice.
e) Check their GOALS to be certain they are specific, measurable, and have a time component.
f) Have them open their binders and show you their goals for practice each day, at any time; before,
during or after practice, when they do you should see they have completed the practice evaluation
from the prior practice.
Self evaluation, Why I play. Reflect with them on why it is important to do self analysis. Relate a story about
how critical self analysis has helped you the coach to become better at things you do in relationships,
business, professional career, coaching.
Have the athletes do the self analysis in the work book and let them know how important this step is.
Create the Vision
Have the athletes read the blueprint and complete the portions of the workbook up to “create and
own your vision” Challenge the Athletes to DREAM! If the world were perfect, what are your dreams,
desires, what would your life look like?
Review with the athletes, A vision brings passion, desire and motivation to their life. It gives them a big
WHY for what they do. How big can they make their WHY? The bigger the dream the bigger the WHY.
Make deadline for the athletes to complete the next two sections, usually about a 7 to 10 day
period of time. Allows for reflection and subconscious thought on their vision and analysis prior to
getting down to the nuts and bolts of assembling a action plan for the here and now.
Blueprint Your Goals - Individual Goals Worksheet
Blueprint the Action Plan – A Bias for Action Worksheet
Assign each work sheet to be done by a certain date.
Believe in Your Success – Worksheet
Power of Language – Self Talk – Worksheet
Beliefs of a Champion – Worksheet
Become a Champion – Foundation to Pinnacle
Nutritional Awareness Training worksheet and exercise
No judgment, just an exercise for them to become aware of what they eat and drink.
On Going exercises
Monitoring the practice goals and evaluations: Make sure the goals are SMART (Specific,
measurable, Attainable-Realistic, there is a TIME component or due date, when they want to
accomplish the goal)
Visualization exercises with the team. Lead visualization of skills, emotion of play, system of play
with your team for 5 minutes, once per week. Usually we do this in the middle of practice,
sometimes at the end of practice, other times prior to practice. Sometimes we lead this exercise
at tournaments during down time.
If unsure about leading visualization then consult some resources. Utilize techniques from the
book by Kenneth Baum on training mental toughness or any other resource like Terry Orlick’s
book about the psychology of a winner, Ranier Martens book about sport psychology.
Speak to players every practice about a life skill. Find something in practice and relate it to life,
work, school, business, family, relationships.
Develop their passion for achievement. Encourage and congratulate all achievement.
Instruct your athletes to reward themselves when they reach any stair stepped goal. Pat
themselves on the back, so to speak.
Baby Steps: Review stair steps, small things, completing small details, builds up to great
Create team performance goals, prior to each tournament
Create team stats goals for a period of practices. Then focus on the little things to accomplish the goals.
Have the players more involved than the coach in creating these goals. The coach guides.
Practice Goals Name: Date ___/___/___ TCA 18’s
Skill technique specific goals to focus on today:
Emotional/Mental/Behavioral skill goals to focus on at practice today:
Tactical / play goals to focus on Offense:
Verbal communication I will work on today:
1) Was I fully prepared, mentally, emotionally to get better today?
2) What were my coaches correcting me most on? Why?
Was this the first time I received instruction on this?
3) What do I need to focus on doing to improve on these skills?
4) Am I doing all the little things (ALWAYS cover, talking, engaging players, getting to base
quickly, Eye-work on defense, etc.) to make the team better? If not, how can I be better at
5) What Skills/Behavior/Mental skills did I really improve on since our last practice?
6) How would I rate my play? (1-10) Improved execution of skills___, receptiveness to
coaching___, Awareness of what my technique is___, Awareness of when I am not
completing technique correctly___, Physical effort___, Mental and emotional
toughness___, Body language___, Vocalization during play___.
7) What affect did I have on my team Today? Positive, neutral, negative? Did I play a role in
making the team better ?