The other night, I went to a banquet. It was an induction ceremony for the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame, and two North Carolina based teams that won national championships were being honored. One was the Greensboro United U15 girls team that won the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup in 2011. The other was the Duke University 1986 NCAA championship team.
At some point during the season, burnout will most likely become an issue for your team. It seems to make sense to talk about it now, rather than later when it is too late to head it off before it pops up.
Does any of this sound familiar?
During training, a player or two seem to be wandering around in a fog. They seem clueless as to what’s going on around them. The ball sneaks up on them, surprising them to the point where you are not sure if that was their first touch or a one-timed shot.
Or during a game, you notice you’ve used the word “focus” a record number of times, and the more you say it, the more it sounds like you are begging and pleading. The mistakes your players are making are baffling. You’re sure they know better, and you’re at a loss to understand what in the world they are doing.
I know a guy who watched the movie “Silence of the Lambs” and came away with an admiration for the murderous, cannibalistic villain Hannibal Lecter because, “He didn’t whine about his situation in life.”
When Hannibal Lecter is better than whining, you must really despise whining.
There are three questions every youth organization should continuously ask. Honest answers can clarify the work being done and the direction taken toward success.
The questions are:
- Who are our customers?
- What do they want?
- Are we giving it to them?
Were you successful? We seem to answer that question too easily. For many parents, players and coaches, the answer is found in wins and losses. If you scored more points than your opponent, you were successful. If your team has more wins than losses at the end of the season, you succeeded.
That’s just how we measure stuff like success. But should we? There’s a lot more to success than wins and losses. And that’s not just a way to make people on the losing side feel better about themselves. An article in Psychology Today points out the way we measure success should be much more complicated than it is.
That Albert Einstein guy was pretty smart. If you ever have some time to kill, Google “Einstein Quotes,” and scroll through them.
Face it, anyone who says, “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves,” has done some serious thinking.
Athletic competitions, when you get right down to it, consist of a series of problems or puzzles. The coach’s job is to be sure the athlete has enough tools to solve every problem and to teach the player how and when to use them.
There are 28 different categories for which a women’s soccer player at the University of North Carolina receives a score – every day, in practice and in games.
It’s part of an effort by head coach Anson Dorrance to develop what he has labeled a “competitive cauldron,” a developmental environment which encourages – even demands – competition between teammates.
I came across a good quote recently from a guy named Ric Charlesworth. He’s a famous Aussie cricket and field hockey player and coach who also served as a member of the Australian Parliament for 10 years.
Charlesworth is credited with saying, “The interesting thing about coaching is you have to trouble the comfortable and comfort the troubled.”