Find an intolerance to mediocrity and instill it in your players. Teach them how to stand up against it.
We all go through those workouts or practices where the guys just don’t seem all there. They are going through the motions, doing what they are told, getting through it. Find a way to recognize this and more importantly get your players to recognize it. Show them the differences between competing and going through the motions in behavioral terms. Get them to understand it, then get them to fight against it.
Guys need to speak up before mediocrity becomes the norm. If not, mediocrity becomes really comfortable, and a lot harder to change. You can’t just explode every time guys are going through the motions – your guys will tune you out pretty quickly.
The best approach is to teach your players how to stand up against it. When they see it, they need to speak up. “Fellas, this isn’t good enough. Let’s go.” Mediocrity seriously inhibits your ability to win, and your team needs to develop an internal intolerance to anything that goes against winning. Don’t ever let them get comfortable with mediocre.