I See You: Every Player Is Different

An effective coach doesn’t motivate his players, he gets his players to motivate themselves. Inspirational ‘rah-rah’ speeches can motivate the team for a brief moment, but what a team needs is players who are internally motivated. To get there takes time and a variety of techniques based on the temperament of each player. Coaching a successful team boils down to leadership. A big part of leadership is to ‘know your players.’ And while every player on the team wears the same colors and logo, the same can’t be said with regard to their learning modality and personality style.

An effective coach doesn’t motivate his players, he gets his players to motivate themselves.

While each player is different, praise can be your biggest tool in developing self motivation within your team. Praise should be public and heard often, especially for new and weaker players. Some players need confidence to stick it out or even complete a drill, initially. Early on, find the most insignificant things to praise your players about. Every player is different.  Each personality inside of that helmet processes coaching differently, but the sure fire way to succeed with everyone is to start off with praise.

Each personality inside of that helmet processes coaching differently, but the sure fire way to succeed with everyone is to start off with praise.

Praise needs to be immediate, specific and loud enough so the player and his PEERS hear it.  Abundant praise should be loud but most importantly earned.  The more praise is earned, the more your players will fight to hear it.

A great way to establish a positive environment is to catch your players doing something  right and use a key phrase to let everyone know your approval.  University of Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini and his staff use the phrase, “I see you.” For example, “I see you  ‘_______.’ (players name)”  If they see a player doing something right they yell it out loudly; “I see you Trent Jones, nice footwork.”  “I see you Darien Sanders, great hustle.”

Praising positive practice and outcomes can be easy as compared to negative outcomes and tough situations.  Heres a few ideas on how to correct errors in a positive way:

  1. Don’t state the obvious.  Yelling at a player, “CATCH THE BALL!” who just dropped a pass doesn’t serve anybody.  A better approach would be pulling that player aside and asking him, “do you understand why you dropped the ball?”  Then proceed to listen to his response and make your coaching point.  If his hands were positioned wrong, show him again at that moment the correct hand positioning.  If he took his eyes off the ball, demonstrate again how to look the ball into his grasp, tuck and run.
  2. Positive programming wins.  One coaching staff reinforces the phrase, “Practice bad, play bad.”  The other team’s coaching staff uses, “Practice great, play great.”  What mental images do you want flying around your players heads the night before a game?  Play great, or play bad?
  3. Positive memories only.  The human brain is unlimited, and the brain controls the player which performs on the field. It’s always best to remind the brain (the player) of the positive performance they have had.  For example, if your quarterback isn’t reading the defense correctly on a Friday night, say something along the lines of, “Tyler, remember to read the strong safety just like you did so well in practice this week.”

Published by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *