Coaching Tip of the Week

” To focus on the value of communication with your team, try asking your players to play without communication. They’ll quickly learn how hard it is to play without communication – and then watch how much more they communicate afterwards.”
“You may have to search hard for a truthful, specific praise for your weakest player, but resist the temptation to offer empty, unearned praise. You can always find something truthful and specific that is positive about what your players do.”
Use “if-then” statements, such as “If you break hard to the post, the midfeilder is more likely to find you.” This puts the player in control and increases self-confidence.”
“One way to reinforce the value of effort is through an award following each competition, such as a game ball or a “Dirty Shirt” award for the players who hustle hardest.”
“Redefine what it means to be a “winner” through a mastery approach to coaching. Instead of focusing solely on the scoreboard, explain the ELM Tree of Mastery for Effort, Learning and Mistakes are OK, because mistakes help us learn, but fear of mistakes makes us timid and helps us fail.”

“Set “Effort Goals” such as running hard for contested balls, in addition to outcome goals. In this way, over time, if players achieve the effort goals, they also will move toward achieving desired outcome goals, such as winning contested balls.”


“Maintain a “Magic Ratio” of five truthful, specific praises for every one specific, constructive criticism. It’s called the Magic Ratio because when coaches get close to it, magical things happen with their players’ performance”


“Conduct a parent meeting as soon as possible after learning which players are on your team. Use the meeting to explain your approach to coaching, learn what your athletes and parents want from their youth sports experiences and to set the expectations for athlete and parent behavior in the coming season.”