How to Program Your Team’s Best Game

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If you’re looking for a way to get your team headed in the right direction – try this simple exercise.

Here’s an easy, yet effective way to get your team’s belief higher and their game turned around.

There’s no secret sauce to helping your team play better, but I do have something that’s pretty close.

Recently, our UCR Softball Team has been on a 13-game winning streak, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that at the beginning of that streak, we started doing this very simple and yet powerful exercise before every game.

Before each game, we gather everyone together and out loud, everybody answers a simple question: “Tell us what your after-game phone call sounds like today”. That doesn’t sound like a powerful question, but trust me, the answers are.

Each player’s answers start with, “today I…” then each player takes their turn telling the group what they did today to contribute to the team. Answers will sound like:

– “Today, I was in Meg’s back pocket and framed her low-out drop for 3 extra strikes, and got the bunt down in the bottom of the 7th.”

– “Today I pinch-ran after Em hit her double and I scored when Brit drove me in.”

– “Today I laid off the high pitch and drove the first good strike to the fence.”

The first time you try it your players will feel uncomfortable and be a little unsure how to answer. Remind them to pretend they’re calling their parents after the game telling them how great they did to contribute to the team, so talk in future tense and verbalize your best game.

While it might not sound that powerful, I’ve seen this become a favorite part of our pregame ritual, and it has really helped our players give themselves permission to do great things.

For more help with your team’s mental game, try A Coach’s Guide to Creating Team Chemistry: Tips on Coaching the Female Athlete

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