Today’s generation wants to avoid failure or eliminate it all together, but since failure is part of sports that’s not a very realistic approach. Instead of avoiding it, discover how to help your players overcome failure with 3 simple steps.
By learning to repeat these 3 simple failure-recovery steps your players can learn to turn a bad play into a good one, and give themselves a better chance at success.
As a coach, your influence on your players is enormous. Being a source of calm and confidence is hugely important not only to create an environment for their best improvement, but also as an approach for your players to model.
Helping our players learn to successfully respond to mistakes is just as important as learning how to field, pitch, hit or throw. This simple error recovery process will give your players specific steps to follow and help them direct their minds toward improvement instead of toward panic:
- Stay Calm – trust your ability to solve the problem and to do that, you need to stay calm. It’s easy to panic, but no doubt lots of people around you will be doing that so leave the panicking to others while you stay calm and focus on the Cause of the problem and more importantly, the solution. Another thing that calm does is allow your knowledge and skills to connect to create the solution. Panic turns off your brains ability to figure out a solution, so stay calm and think solution!
- Figure Out the Cause – figure out what’s causing the problem you’re seeing. While this might sound obvious, or even negative, in order to find the right solution, you’ve first got to correctly identify the specific problem. “That pitch was horrible” is not a cause. It might be a description but what you need is the cause – what is actually causing the “horrible”?
- Give the Solution Your Best Effort – figure out what you need to do to solve the problem, and then give the solution your best effort! A careful effort means you don’t really trust your skills to solve the problem. A careful effort means you’re cheating yourself, so trust your skills by giving the solution your best effort!
While this 3 step system really does work, you can’t simply mention it one time in practice and expect your players to become cured of their frustration and impatience. You need to be a constant soundtrack to your players following any mistake reminding them to: Stay Calm
, Figure Out the Cause
, and Give the Solution Your Best Effort
Oh, and coaches, this 3 step process works for us as well since many of us overlook the “stay calm” step, thus preventing ourselves from accurately figuring out a solution to whatever is making us nuts.
For more help with this topic, check out the following:
Coach’s Guide to Creating Team Chemistry: Tips on Coaching Female Athletes