There are few events more revered in the coaching world than the annual Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) breakfast. The 2014 breakfast featured such top-notch coaches as Jim Thompson and Randy Shaver. The coaches in attendance were asked to share their thoughts on how to build a positive team atmosphere and commitment among players. Not only did they share specific strategies they
l Always emphasizing positive compliments with players. Coaches should compliment more than they criticize!
l Publicly thank assistant coaches and others who make playing possible.
l Get to know each player individually and use the knowledge gained for person-specific coaching and encouragement.
l Create big-picture team goals as well as individual level player goals for each player.
l Celebrate every goal or milestone reached, no matter how small.
l Tailor coaching to each player and his individual goals and wants; know each player’s reason for playing.
l Challenge the team daily.
l Create expectations for each player and for the team as a whole.
l Set goals for each practice.
l Smile and be positive.
l Pay attention to player reactions and emotions and act accordingly.
l Be consistent as a coach.
l Don’t make excuses.
l When a goal is reached, set a higher/harder to achieve goal. Never stop striving for betterment.
l Communicate with players, parents, and every person or organization involved in players’ lives.
l Focus on building a strong team and team environment, not on winning.
These goals might seem basic, but they are actually quite hard to achieve. However, the only thing you can do, as a coach, is to do your best each and every day and to try to keep these strategies and tips in mind. Will any coach ever be perfect? Absolutely not. But the difference between a good coach and a bad coach is constantly striving to be better.