As Coaches, it’s normal to want our players to be better, or even to wish we had different players on our team.
Let’s slow down a minute, and start at the top – let’s find out how an improved YOU will create an improved team.
Nobody gets into coaching to wind up with players that have problems, and yet those are exactly the kind of players that NEED great coaching! Discover 2 ways to start becoming that great coach.
Instead of wishing your players were problem-free focus on how great an opportunity you have to help your players get through their issues – how gifted you are to imagine, create and provide solutions! All great coaches are like Solution-Finding-Superheroes instead of problem finding downers.
So let’s focus on 2 specific things you can do that will immediately have an impact on how hard your players try, how determined they are to work through their issues and how quickly they can arrive at a solution.
- Stop Piling On – while this might sound ridiculously obvious, I am constantly amazed at how many times coaches give out information that is completely irrelevant to their players. For example, last night I was at the ballpark and there was a 9u game going on. These young girls were still learning how to throw and catch and fit those skills into the game itself. Their skills were VERY basic. Their coach yelled out, “remember Erica, with a runner on 1styou want to try and throw to 2nd”, but he didn’t stop there. He followed that comment with, “unless there’s 2 outs and then you’ll want to just throw to 1st, or 2nd, depending on the…”
What?! They’re 9! There is no room in their brains for “unless”. This coach was simply “pilling on” information. Who knows why and why doesn’t even matter. Whenever you’re teaching someone give them the information they can USE based on their skill level, and stop piling on. Keep in mind that USE and NEED are 2 totally different things. I might need to know something but I don’t have the skills to use that information – so don’t tell me. And just because YOU know it, doesn’t mean that I need to!
- Be the Filter – You’re the adult and the expert, so therefore you’ve got to be the filter. Filter ONLY the information each player can use, and stop piling on. Filtering sounds like a simple concept but it requires great restraint and prioritizing on your part. Tell me the 2 most important things right now and filter out ALL the rest of the stuff you know about whatever you’re getting ready to tell me. As a coach, you’re a gather of knowledge so your mind can afford to be full of info, but as a player, I need a clutter-free mind. I’m a doer instead of a knower and to help make my doing easier, help me keep my mind more clutter-free by filtering what you tell me.
The younger the players are that you coach, the less information they need and conversely, the better skilled your players the more information they can process.
This means you’ve got to be the master of the basics, in your head, and then only pull out and use those basics that apply to the player in front of you right now. Not your perfect, ideal player” only the one currently in front of you right now. While this sounds simple, it’s VERY difficult to filter out what THIS player needs right now from ALL that you know on the skill.
Keep in mind that you might know really advanced skills yourself, but if you’re coaching very young or beginning players – those skills aren’t the ones they need – so teach the players standing in front of you right now, on their level, not yours!
For more help mastering all the basics, take advantage of our 7 Level Coaching Education Program. Each of the 7 Levels includes 11 Skills, broken down into the specifics, and each level gets progressively more difficult. Level 1 starts with the very basics, and Level 7 covers the more advanced skills, with Levels 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 stair stepping the skills.
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