Teaching younger players to take their time in between plays is tough. They aren’t sure what to do with their time so they rush, rush, rush. The next time you see this happen try talking about their internal phone battery.
All players know how cell phones work, and no doubt have one themselves – so comparing their energy level to how their phone recharges makes sense to them. Check out 4 things that drain player’s batteries and 4 things that recharge them.
If you’re coaching younger players no doubt you’ve uttered the phrase “take your time” more than once. At which point the player you’re talking to says “OK” and proceeds to rush, again. This can be a maddening dance between player and coach that originates for a couple of reasons:
- Time doesn’t mean much to young players
- Our comments are not specific enough
- Players aren’t sure what to do with their “time”
What we’re noticing when we make this “take your time” comment is the player going from swing to swing or throw to throw or pitch to pitch without ever taking a break & getting themselves ready.
When players actually do “take their time” they will pause before the next play, maybe take a deep breath and let out some frustration, they’ll try to forget the last play and remember they are capable – and then they’ll physically get ready for the next play.
Part of our role as coaches is to be specific in order to help our players improve. Learning clearer and more specific ways to explain a vague concept like “taking your time” is what coaches are for, so let me share a simple way I’ve found that really makes sense to young kids.
Kids all know about cell phone batteries and how important a fully charged battery is to the performance of the phone. Well every player has a battery inside each of them that also needs to be fully charged for that player to play her best. OK, technically, it’s not a battery, but our human energy source acts like one.
We can use the cell phone battery concept to help our players better understand what things will drain their energy (or their battery) and what things they can do to recharge their battery.
Things like the Heat, their Frustration, any Distraction and the Other Team can all combine to drain their energy level – or their battery. So, in order to charge their battery before every single play, they need to do a couple quick battery-charging things:
- Take a Deep Breath
- Forget About the Last Play
- Remember They CAN Do It
- And do these in between EVERY play
4 simple and yet specific-enough steps to help players of all ages not only “take their time” in between plays, but make sure they’re really ready to give the next play their very best!
For more help with this concept, check out the following:
To download your own copy of Your Energy Is Like Your Phone Batter infographic, click here