Coach Matt

Creating the Playoff Experience IV: Action

Lilia In The Net
Creating Lasting Memories – Lilia 

In the previous posts of this series we have been talking about the role experiences play in creating passion in sport. We have also been discussing the best ways to create these experiences.  Starting the journey of creating great experience begins with awareness.  Awareness of who am I as a coach? As we become aware of who we are as a coach, the second step is planning.  Creating developmentally appropriate plans that will engage the athletes while developing lasting memories. Finally, the last component to creating great experiences is taking action. This involves the implementation of the plans that were diligently designed around the athlete’s developmental stages.

In this post we are not going to talk about the specific details as it relates to the activities selected to be put into action. We would like to look more at how we take action and what action actually looks like while creating the playoff experience.  Here is what believes to be essential to practices and games as it relates to plan implementation.

  1. Come Prepared. Be to the field or court early with your plans for the session.  Disorganization at the very start will only lead to problems as the session continues.
  2. Coach the Person. You must be a coach who cares. One that cares about the person and not just the athlete.
  3. Coach with Energy and Enthusiasm and put in maximal Effort. As a coach you must get uncomfortable in your surroundings. Have fun and create memories that last by stepping outside of your norm and become the coach you want to become.
  4. Communicate to the level of the athlete being trained. Stay in the moment and remember the age and developmental level of the kids you are working with.
  5. Embrace the failures as learning opportunities. Failure will happen and how it is handled will impact the experience.  We as coaches must create a learning atmosphere where creativity and failure can happen with positive outcomes.
  6. Be prepared to adjust the plan – Be flexible. If an activity is not working to the concept intended or confidence is not being developed, you cannot stick with activity. Be prepared with alternative plans and change the activity.
  7. Develop well rounded players. Allow you athletes to become well-rounded and learn other positions. Pigeon holing to specific positions at early ages can impact the experience where the athlete no longer finds success.
  8. Provide useful feedback in the moment. It is okay to stop an activity and provide immediate feedback. The attention span of kids is not very long so if we fail to provide feedback in the moment, they will rarely relate the concepts back together.  Just remember to much down time and standing around is not good.  Time management is key.
    1. Avoid Over or Under coaching. Too much or too little can create negative experiences. You have to find the medium which may be different for each athlete.
    2. Praise with positives. Reinforce what you want to see and not dwell on what you don’t want to see
  9. Review/Reflect. Was the session fun and did it create a lasting memory. Just ask the kids.
  10. Smile, Laugh, Have Fun & Make Memories. Remember the big picture and IMG_6600why you coach.

I hope that you enjoyed the series related to creating great experiences to help develop passion.  Focus on this idea each day whether you are a coach or a parent and you will see the passion and excitement develop.

Enjoy and Make Memories

Coach Matt

One thought on “Creating the Playoff Experience IV: Action

  1. These posts have been outstanding. We all have heard people say “It’s all about the kids”, but in youth sports is often becomes about using the kids to enhance the coaches ego. Yelling, facial expressions, and pouting… and that’s the coaches not the young student-athletes simply looking to have fun with their friends. If the coach is having fun, the participants will have fun. If you EARN the respect of the participants increasing their knowledge and skill base is easy. Matt and Brad, you’re doing a great job.

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