Monday, January 5, 2015

Top Tips from Top Coaches

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
themselves had employed but they also gave some general tips. Some of the gems they shared included:

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.

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