ROHO Coaches Newsletter

Spring 2016 | | Mark Stanbrough, Ph.D.

in this newsletter:

Mental Skills & Drills

Track and Field Games

Running Games

Kansas Olympian

Rupp wins Olympic Trials

Jesse Owens Movie

Focus--Catching Markers Activity

Go Bananas High Jump

Scream Team Run

More Than X's and O's

Sport Psychology Workshops

New Release

Mental Skills and Drills for Track and Field

As a track and field athlete you put in numerous hours of training to prepare your body. You run, jump or throw more in one season than most people do in a lifetime. You train week after week to the point of exhaustion. You train diligently. You are supremely aware of your body. You train to become fast, strong and powerful! You train hard, running, jumping, or throwing to be the best you can be. But are you doing everything you can to be the best you can be?

In track and field, there are no teammates to blame, no coach to run your race, no hiding behind excuses of cold weather, hot weather, unkind wind, a slow track, or jostling competition. Athletes often train the physical component with a well-planned, systematic program that focuses on the physiological aspects, yet the mental training tools have not been provided and practiced. Mental skills training are often not an important component of training because few athletes and coaches are formally exposed to mental skills and drills.

How important is the mental side of track and field? How ironic that both athletes and coaches consider mental skills to be an extremely important part of high performance, but yet do not take the time to learn and develop a systematic program to develop the mental skills.

The mind controls the body, and as an athlete you want control over what your physical energy can create. Only when you have a fully prepared mind can you reach your full potential and perform at your peak. Like physical training, mental training must be practiced on a consistent basis. Mental Skills and Drills for Track and Field has been designed to prepare you mentally to practice and compete to your potential. It supplies mental skills and drills that will allow you to develop your mental skills and become a better athlete. Only you can make the decision to commit to the mental program to improve.

Books for the Upcoming Track & Field Season

Track & Field Games

Track and Field Games contains over 200 track and field games (with variations over 500) that coaches can use to create an enjoyable and productive practice environment. The numerous track and field games help teach the fundamentals and focus on skills required to become a more compete track and field athlete. Track and Field Games combines fun with skill instruction and practice. The games are particularly useful for beginning and intermediate athletes and can be adapted to accommodate more traditional training with experienced athletes.

Track and Field Games is designed to challenge athletes and keep them active, motivated and thoroughly involved. The games are competitive and fun to play and they can be easily adapted to different ages and abilities. Both novice and experienced athletes alike will respond favorably to the activities in which they are excited and enthused about. The track and field games provided in this book are designed to create such an enthusiastic and positive attitude.

Track and Field Games is organized with multiple games that focus on: the jumping events of the high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault; the throwing events of the shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw; and the running events of sprinting, hurdles, distance and relays. Although categorized by their primary focus, most games emphasize essential elements that can be applied to multiple events in track and field.

Running Games

Running Games for Track and Field & Cross Country is divided into eight categories of running: Icebreaker and Team Building, Warm-up and Cool-Down, Tag, Relay, Running, Fartlek, Distance, and Specific. Each of the eight categories describes 20 main games and numerous variations, making a total of more than 500 games presented in Running Games for Track and Field & Cross Country that will provide fun and fitness through running!

The number one reason people participate in athletics is to have fun! The challenge lies in making running fun. It is the motivation and enthusiasm toward running that Running Games For Track & Field and Cross Country addresses. The many ideas and workouts are designed to increase motivation and develop a positive attitude towards running. Some of the running activities presented are old games that have been played for years. Other running activities are modified from games with a running component added. Still other running activities presented are new activities that specifically develop the training component, techniques and tactics involved in the development of a runner.

Kansas' Amy (Hastings) Cragg wins 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon

Excerpt from Motivational Moments in 2012 Olympic Track and Field:

Amy (Hastings) Cragg overcame the disappointment of barely missing the 2012 Olympic team in the marathon to capture the gold medal in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials held in Los Angeles.

Amy started her running career at Leavenworth High School in Kansas. She won two state titles at 3200 meters and a state cross country title. Amy attended Arizona State, where she rose early for long training runs to beat the Arizona heat. Her hard work and dedication paid off, as she won the NCAA 5000 meters in 2006 and helped her team to two NCAA Championships, winning 10 All-American honors.

When Amy missed the 2012 Olympic Marathon team by only one spot she became more determined than ever. After years of hard work, dreaming, and running, Amy achieved her ultimate goal of becoming a member of the U.S. Olympic team by winning the 10,000-meter final at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. In the Olympic 10,000 meters, Amy was able to stay with the lead group, consisting mostly of Africans for over half the race before she fell back to finish 11th in 31:10.69. By dedicating herself to continued improvement, Amy (Hastings) Cragg overcame heartbreak with triumph to achieve a lifelong dream of becoming an Olympian.

Look for Amy wearing the U.S.A. uniform and competing in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Galen Rupp wins 2016 Olympic Trials in Marathon Debut

Excerpt from Motivational Moments in 2012 Olympic Track and Field:

Galen Rupp entered the 2016 Olympic Marathon Team Trials having never competed in a marathon before. No problem. His dedication and commitment to training had prepared him to cover the 26.2 mile. Galen became the first man since George Young in 1968 to win the U.S. trials in a marathon debut and it was the sixth fastest time in trials history. Galen is considering a double, competing in the 10,000 and the marathon, with the events scheduled eight days apart at Rio.

When Galen toed the starting line of the 2012 Olympic 10,000 final, only two Americans had ever won an Olympic medal in the 10,000 meters. The last medal was the upset win by Billy Mills in 1964. What Galen needed was the belief in his finish, just as Mills had demonstrated to perfection. The London Olympics featured a hometown favorite, Mo Farah, in the 10K and 5K, the same events Galen would run. In fact, the two had trained together in Portland, Oregon and both were coached by Alberto Salazar. The pace was slow in the Olympic 10,000 meters race. Farah took the lead with four laps to go and his training mate, Galen, was positioned fourth at the bell with a lap to go. Farah opened up the lead, but Rupp maintained contact, and with 90 meters to go, he moved past Kenensia Bekele, the defending Olympic champion, to win the silver medal.

With consistent training and a focus to be the best in the world, Galen Rupp is making U.S. running history. Look for Galen to contend for gold in two events in Rio.

New Edition: Motivational Moments in 2016 Olympics coming September 15, 2016!

Jesse Owens Movie, "RACE," in Theaters

Excerpt from Motivational Moments in Men's Track & Field History:

Jesse Owens was the seventh of 11 children. His father was a sharecropper and his grandfather was a slave. At East Technical High School in Cleveland, Jesse tied the national high school record of 9.4 in the 100-yard dash, set new national high school records in the 220-yard dash and long jump.

Jesse attended Ohio State University, but in order to make ends meet he worked several jobs as an elevator operator, a waiter, and pumped gas to support himself and his young wife, Ruth. One of the greatest sporting achievements ever occurred at the Big 10 Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on May 25, 1935. After falling down a flight of stairs a few days before the meet, Jesse was uncertain that he would even be able to compete, but decided to take it one event at a time. In just 45 minutes, Jesse set three world records and tied a fourth in the 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash, 220-yard hurdles, and the long jump. The long jump record would last for 25 years. Jesse won a record four gold medals in the 1935 NCAA Championships and duplicated the feat the following year.

Jesse’s phenomenal success at Ohio State gave him confidence that he could compete at the world level. The 1936 Olympics were held in Nazi Germany. In a remarkable display of athletic ability, Jesse became the first track and field athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympiad. At a time when segregation was deep rooted, Jesse’s performance discredited Hitler’s master race theory. After the 100 meters, he was struggling in the long jump. He had one remaining jump left to attempt to make the final when German Luz Long gave him some helpful advice in marking his takeoff point, which enabled him to win the event. Long and Jesse would remain lifelong friends. The next day, he won the 200 meters and then anchored the 4x100-meter relay team to a gold medal. The founder of Adidas, Adi Dassler, gave Jesse Adidas shoes, marking the first sponsorship for a male African-American athlete. Despite Hitler’s attitude, the Germans considered Jesse a hero, cheering loudly for him and seeking his autograph. Jesse was even allowed to travel with and stay in the same hotel as whites, which was not happening in the United States at that time.

Jesse worked with youth, sharing himself and the little material wealth that he had. He was a champion on the playground in the poorest neighborhoods as much as he was on the oval of the Olympic Games. 1981, the Jesse Owens Award was established by USA Track and Field. The award is regarded as the highest accolade, presented annually to the outstanding U.S. male and female performers.

Focus: Catching Markers

Excerpt from: Mental Skills and Drills for Track and Field

You will need 10 different colored magic markers to try the following “focus test.” Your task is to throw all 10 markers up at the same time above your head and try to catch as many as possible. It is important that when you attempt to catch them, you only use your hands and your hands must be away from your body (no trapping the markers against your body). Now, throw all 10 up at the same time.

How many did you catch?

If you do this correctly without cheating, then like most people, you probably only caught 1 or 2 at most. Does that mean your ability it focus is very low? Absolutely not! This is an impossible task because there are too many things to focus on all at once. The fact of the matter is: YOU CAN ONLY CONCENTRATE ON ONE THING WELL AT A TIME. While you can focus on many things at once, when it comes down to peak performance, you can only focus on one thing well at a time. You better make sure that the one thing you are focusing on is WHAT’S IMPORTANT! Now, pick one special marker in your group of 10 to focus on. For example, let’s say the red one. Take that marker, stick it in the middle of the other 9 and throw all 10 up once again at the same time. Remember, you are focusing on catching only the one red marker.

What happened?

If you didn’t catch the red marker the first time, try it again. If you have relatively decent hand-eye coordination, then you’ll be able to catch that red marker.

Go Bananas High Jump

Excerpt from: Track and Field Games

Objectives: To keep athletes focused and involved in a jumping activity as they wait in line to jump

Description: Athletes line up to high jump at heights designated by the coach. The first jumper in line approaches the bar and jumps. If the jumper clears the bar, everyone in line jumps vertically as high as they can in place one time. Periodically, after a jumper clears the bar, the coach will yell “Go Bananas!” and

everyone will jump as high as they can (in place) for three consecutive jumps.

Variations: (1) After a clearance by a jumper, the first jumper in line does one jump, the second jumper in line does two jumps, the third jumper in line does three jumps, continuing down the line to the last person, with each person performing the number of jumps associated with the position in line. (2) After a clearance, everyone in line does one vertical jump. After two consecutive clearances by jumpers in the line, everyone does two jumps to celebrate the

clearance. After a third consecutive clearance by the line, the line does three jumps. Continue to perform the number of jumps associated with the number of consecutive clearances. When the line has a miss, the count will start over.

Equipment: High jump set-up (pit, standards, crossbar)


Excerpt from: Running Games for Track & Field and Cross Country

Objective: To see which team can run the farthest while screaming. Description: Form groups with three to five runners in each group. Each group should be in a single file line with the first person in each group behind the starting line. On the starting command, the 1st runner in each group starts running and yells as loud as they can on a single breath. Teammates run right behind the yelling first runner maintaining a single file line. When the first runner can no longer yell they move to the back of the group line and continues to run. The second runner on the team takes the lead and starts yelling on a single breath and continues running (the rest of the team continues to run behind the yelling runner). When the second runner can no longer yell, they move to the back of the line and the third runner takes the lead and starts yelling on a single breath. Continue until everyone on the team has yelled. It’s fun to see who can go the farthest and scream the loudest! If a group gets to the edge of a boundary, have them turn around and come back.

Variations: (1) Make a continuous relay, when all the runners have had a turn at yelling, the yelling sequence starts over with the first runner. (2) Combine everyone on the team to see how far they can go. Note the distance and go again to see if the team can go further.





Just like physical training, mental training must be worked on diligently and systematically. Mental skills are often not an important component of training because few athletes and coaches are formally exposed to mental skills and drills. This workshop will provide specific components that will develop the mental side of performance. Specific drills will be provided that will help the participants develop a systemic approach to developing mental skills. Mental Skills and Drills has been designed to prepare participants to mentally practice and compete to their potential.

Workshop Agenda

8:00 a.m. Registration- Pick-up materials

8:30 a.m. Importance of Mental Training

9:30 a.m. Relaxation- Proper Arousal Levels

10:30 a.m. Goal Setting

11:30 a.m. Lunch

12:00 p.m. Self-Talk

1:00 p.m. Imagery

2:00 p.m. Putting it all Together- Mental Plans

3:00 p.m. Workshop concludes

Registration: Complete the registration form at either website listed below. Day of the workshop registration will be accepted but advanced registration is preferred.

Cost: The registration cost includes the book- Mental Skills and Drills for Athletes as well as various mental training aids. Lunch is included.

$60 advanced registration two days before the workshop

$80 on-site registration the day of the workshop

Questions: For questions about registration or the program, please contact Roho Performance at, 620-794-6600, or Mark Stanbrough at, 620-794-3941.

Website: or


Roho Performance workshops are highly customizable to meet the needs of your athletic community. These workshops are commonly held at:

• Public/private high schools, middle schools & colleges (professional development/in-service trainings)

• Sport-specific coaching conventions/clinics

• Athletic Director conventions

• Youth Sports organizational trainings

• Coaching clinics of all sort

Focus on:

Individual Performance Enhancement-Development and implementing of individual training programs aimed at improving mental skills, including relaxation training, motivation, imagery, self-talk, focus training, and goal setting.

Character Development, Leadership, Team Building, Making Sport Fun- Training and consultation with coaches, staff, and players.

Presenter: The workshop will be led by Dr. Mark Stanbrough. Dr. Stanbrough is the director of the Emporia State University Coaching Education program, one of only ten accredited coaching education programs in the nation. He has over thirty years’ experience of successfully teaching mental skills to students and coaches and has coaching experience at the collegiate, high school, middle school and club levels.

More Than X's and O's Workshop

The Coaching Education program at Emporia State University will host the “More Than the X’s and O’s-A Coaching Education Workshop” on April 5, 2016. The workshop goes beyond the traditional coaching clinic which focuses on the X and O’s to focus on character education, leadership, communication, motivation, sports psychology, team building, and team management.

This year the workshop will bring back by popular demand, Wes Simmons of “3Dimensional Coaching™, a concept developed by Dr. Jeff Duke of the University of Central Florida, which combines fundamentals, psychology, and heart into developing athletes. The 3Dimensional Coaching™ curriculum is based on extensive research regarding different coaching philosophies and the cultural influence of coaches in the lives of the people they impact. Wes will bring new and exciting topics that builds upon his previous presentation at Emporia State.

Jeff Hulse, the head softball coach at Olathe East will also be presenting. Jeff has compiled a career .935 winning percentage with a 332-23 record. He has coached the Hawks to 7 State Championships. Coach Hulse was selected as the National Federation of High School (NFHS) Coaches Association 2013 National Softball Coach of the Year. He served on the National Federation of High Schools Softball Rules Committee representing the High School Softball Coaches across the US and founded the Kansas Softball Coaches Association in 2004 and is currently serving as the President.

For more information see the website at or contact Dr. Mark Stanbrough, or 620-341-5399