Confidence is Key
I attended a baseball coaching workshop earlier this week and, although my knowledge of baseball mechanics is pretty limited, it was such an enriching experience. What I learned is that, whether we are coaching baseball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse (etc), the actual sport itself is secondary. All coaches, regardless of the sport, are the gateway and window into the game for players. Instilling confidence, encouraging players to do their best, make mistakes and then try again are all universal coaching traits that we need to have if we are engaging with younger players.
As coaches we need to talk to players about what they are doing and why. We need to explain why we are asking then to do certain things and engage with them. We need to be positive and enthusiastic influences in their lives. Young players don't get tired of being told they do something well. Reinforcing positively leads to a greater level of confidence which in turn leads to a greater interest in in the game, this then leads to increased effort and to then onto increased skill development. It’s a chain reaction. Simply, it all starts with being positive. Be specific about your praise, for example “you did a great job passing and then moving into space!”, rather than just general “good job!”
We all remember the teachers at school who we liked. Coaching in sport is just the same. Players will remember their coach long after they forgot the score of a game.
The baseball workshop taught me that players don't care how much we know as coaches until they know how much we care.
As the Winter season approaches the last few weeks, I want to encourage you to keep being a positive influence in the lives of your players. Your influence and impact will continue long after the season ends.
Thank you all for your efforts and support as ever. Feel free to reach out with feedback, thoughts, ideas on how we can improve our program