Establishing Athlete Behavior Standards

The start of a new season is an exciting time for coaches and athletes alike. However, this initial burst of enthusiasm and commitment inevitably will soon be tested as athletes cope with training and competition demands while also trying to balance other life responsibilities. Over a long season, even the most disciplined competitor will be tempted to stray off course and sometimes make poor decisions or behave inappropriately.

Developing Good Teammates

Coaches often remind their athletes that TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. That’s a great motto for keeping a group unified, but it’s pretty vague when it comes to specifying behaviors that define a good teammate. So I suggest you add another acronym to your coaching arsenal, one that highlights the behaviors you expect to ensure each athlete will be a CREDIT to your team.

Reflecting On Why You Coach

Most coaching books start with a discussion of the importance of creating a coaching philosophy and follow up with a section on creating goals. But to define a coaching philosophy and set goals, you must first understand and express why you coach and what principles will guide how you coach.

Keeping Bench Players “In The Game”

I have yet to meet a competitive athlete – of any age or in any sport – who relishes sitting on the bench. In fact, excessive time as a second or third stringer can be frustrating and demotivating, and is a primary reason athletes lose their passion for the sport if not their interest in playing at all. So how does a coach effectively manage playing time among team members so that subs stay positive and engaged throughout the season?

Busting A Culture Of Entitlement

It is true that today’s generation of young athletes is growing up in a different culture, one in which individual achievements are often glorified and celebrated at the expense of collective achievements and self-sacrifice. Nowhere is this more evident than in the typical youth sport setting where parents aggressively push for their sons and daughters to get noticed, in the hopes of securing a college scholarship. The most effective way to bust a culture of athlete entitlement is to actively build and reinforce a culture of athlete accountability. This three-pronged approach is most effective for creating this type of team culture.