Could your players stand to be a little more excited about things? If you’re like most coaches on most days and your answer is a resounding YES then check out 3 ways to help Ignite Your Player’s Passion.
Coaching players that are passionate and ignited is nothing short of amazing, and a privilege that doesn’t have to belong to someone else. There are actually 3 things you can do to infuse more passion in the current players you have.
Passion is a funny thing – it’s something that we all love to see in our players, but not something we’re used to training. It’s not like we can make a “passion station” at practice, or tell our players to go work on their “passion drills”.
While we can’t practice passion in the same way we’re used to practicing the other more typical softball skills – the good news is, there are things you can do to light that passion fire inside each of your players.
- Value Them – While each person on your team might have different skills each one deserves to be valued the same. Your backup right fielder deserves to feel just as valued as your best player. Valuing your players means that you’ll treat each one with respect, that you’ll appreciate each of them, and that you’ll listen to them. I know…if they’ll act a certain way then you would treat them with respect – but somebody needs to make the first move, and that somebody needs to be you.
I’m not saying you have to make a huge change with each player over night, but start small. Start noticing small ways you can respect or listen to, or appreciate a couple of your passion hold-outs. Little by little keep it up and start to see the change that will occur in you, and in them.
- Notice Them – Make a habit of saying every player’s name every single practice. I know this might seem crazy, but I think you’ll be amazed at how really difficult it is. Sure, you’ll say your best player’s names every day – a lot! But, what about those messy players? The ones you aren’t sure how to help. Those are the players that need you to notice them, they’re dying for your help, so start by simply saying their name every single day and pretty soon you’ll find yourself down there helping them more than you ever realized you had the patience for.
- Challenge Them – Think about what I talked about in this issue’s Did You Know: That students experienced a 40% increase in performance simply from teachers telling them one simple phrase when they corrected their work: “I’m saying this because I have very high expectations of you & I know you can reach them!
Players want to be better, they want to meet our expectations, and they’re capable of far more than they realize. It’s our job as coaches to challenge our players to reach a little farther than they thought they could go because we’re right there with them – believing in them! Don’t be afraid to challenge your players – let them know the drill or skill is hard, but that you know they’re capable of reaching it. It might take some work or some time – and it might not happen right away, but you believe they can do it if they’ll keep working at it.
For more help with igniting the passion in your players, check out our book: