via Coach Dawn Writes:
During the summer, I work lots of camps, which generally means working with middle and high school aged girls. As I get to know them, I usually ask them about their teams and how they think they’ll do in their conference. Inevitably, a girl will say that she’s not looking forward to her season because she doesn’t think her coach likes her.
Then the talk progresses in the same manner, no matter who I’m speaking with: I tell them it doesn’t matter if the coach likes them or not…the coach wants to win! Sport isn’t some sort of popularity contest where coaches bench their best players in favor of less talented girls whom they really like…that makes no sense. I finish my talk with three ways they can “make” their coach give them playing time.
3 areas our players should focus on to be the best they can possibly be
Effort. I don’t know of a coach alive who doesn’t love a hustler. I’ve coached (and I’m sure you have too) players who aren’t gifted with obvious natural talent, but who will figuratively run through a wall in every drill during practice. These players don’t slack off during warmups, but are focused on performing the skill correctly. When coaches show them an area where they need to improve, they work on it furiously. They quite literally don’t understand why anyone would walk onto the court/ice/field without giving their full effort for the entire practice. The beauty of effort is that it is 100% within the control of each athlete…even the coach who “doesn’t like them” is bound to be impressed.