3 min read
Seems obvious but it’s sometimes forgotten. A good rule of them is to tell your players you won’t get upset with them for mistakes that are not a result of lack of effort or lack of concentration. You don’t want your kids to play scared of making a mistake. When players play scared the results are typically not good.
Unless it’s for lack of effort or lack of concentration, mistakes are a great time to instruct your players on what to correct for the next time. Simply getting mad at players without instruction doesn’t help them. I realize that sometimes players need a little “kick in the pants” to wake them up, but remember that we are all teachers of the game!
We are role models for our players. This is unavoidable. We will either be a positive one or a negative one. We also have to keep in mind that these are other people’s kids. So if Mom and Dad don’t want their children using inappropriate language we should respect that by not using it ourselves in front of the team.
Kelly is very hard on himself. The way the situation was handled showed an indication that the coach was not thinking about Kelly’s psyche. Kelly needs encouragement, just like we all do (even as adults).
But some players tend to beat themselves up more than others. We need to be aware of this so that we can work with players as individuals.
A good way to do this is to have your players fill out a survey (make it fun) at the start of the year and read each player’s “survey” to the team. This helps the players learn about their teammates temperaments and tendencies as well.
I recognize it can be easy to play “Monday Morning Quarterback” and analyze things from the sidelines. We have our own biases that can skew our perspective.
But as coaches we can also use the things we observe from others (good and bad) to learn and help shape the way we teach, role-model, and lead our players.
Remember that what we do as a coach, even in the “small” moments, matters!