You know Melissa every player has some kind of strength, she/he may be a fast runner, can kick or throw well, play good defense, etc. even though their over all skills may not be up to par.
Good coaches will build off those strengths, put those players in positions to succeed and that success always seems to lead to better over all skills.
Remind them that we can not learn much from them when they are winning, but we can learn alot about their character when they are losing. Furthermore, losing is winning the battle over losing; take the mistakes and capitalize on next opportunity...
its OK i noticed that the kids who cry when they get out are the ones who also have a deep desire to win. they need to use that energy to stay focused. I would like to see a study on a group of kids who cry vs those who don't.
Melissa I agree with Jesse. The tears come from a desire to do well. Let's face it no one likes to do badly, even youngsters. Give the kid a little time to reflect and use positive encouragement when you talk to them. Use the feeling they have and let them know they can take it and use it to build on their overall skill as an athlete and as a person. A "let's not feel this way again" approach. The hard lessons are the ones most remembered.
I enjoy the part of coaching where I am able to help a player get the best out of themselves mentally and physically AND add to their enjoyment of the game at the same time.
When I was 10 years old, a game I was pitching in was delayed while the umpire (one of the dads) talked to me in tears over what had just happened...I lost a no-hitter late in the game.
I speak from experience in saying it is to some extent two things - what just happened on the field and what's going on in the mindset off the field. Sports are a great way to find out about yourself and how you react to pressure.
Looking back, I can say that I wanted to win and I wanted to win bad so those were tears of anger and disappointment. Also, my parents had been divorced recently so I was dealing with that too. Both contributed to the situation so always be weary of what a player is dealing with off the field too. Without knowing any details, it's important to learn this and coach accordingly.
In answer to the question, often times sports lets you get out the stress you might have off the field in ways that are more acceptable. There has to be a way to express it or release it or deal with it and sports is safer than some other ways.
In coaching an athlete who gets upset, it's important to understand that's their reality. You also want them to perform at their best, learn from the adversity, and maximize their enjoyment.
My favorite exercise is, in a fun way, to encourage the upset feelings - "Hey, don't just cry a little! Show me something! Let's hear some sobbing, wailing, and screaming! You're competing out here. Don't let anyone be more upset than you! Lets see how upset/angry/frustrated you can really be."
It sounds silly, but often it will inject some humor into the situation, get the player a little embarrassed, and shift them out of the mood. Then, they will be in a place where they can perform better, learn from their adversity and maybe even deal with a bad game or losing better.
tell them they did good. tell them they just have to learn from their mistakes. im in an age group of 11-14 year olds and my coach stll tells us that. Learn from your mistakes and try to help them fix them at the next practice as a coach or as a parent try and help them fix their mistakes.
Well first of all you don't expect a mistake that you made last year to affect you this year. So don't expect the mistake you made last inning to affect you this inning, or the lest second this moment and so on. The encouraging factor is to focus on things ahead or in the players future, which is how good he will be. This will allow him to move beyond his past, his mastake, puting it behind him. In his future he will work harder to prevent his past mastakes because of his desire to suceed. Failure comes only when you quit and the way to sucess is never quit.
Melissa, all this milk toast winey don't hurt their feeling baby stuff is why kids cry in the first place. Kids cry because they fail to learn what hard work and dedication mean. They want the reward but don't want to put in the work.
In my experience, and this is years of coaching. Most kids that cry like that will look down on kids who do the same. A video tape of the crying when they don't know you are taping does wonders.
When they see themselves acting in a manner that in most cases would be embarrassing to them, they stop doing it and it gives them a new prospective to go off of.
Quite treating kids they can't fail, and teach them how to deal with failure. When a kid does wrong they need to know it.
Most of these comments I read are panty waste baby talk methods that very rarely work. Kids have a sense of entitlement. Working at something that requires commitment normally causes young people to quite.
I am the same way when I lose or dont perform well. I play travel softball and we are very competitive and we are expected to perform well at all times. So when you make mistakes are even just the slightest mistake I get down because I feel like there is no reason for me to make mistakes especially the little ones. Thats just how I am and when I make a mistake I really take it personal and really get upset about it. Lol I just had a tourey just this week and I drop a ball that was thrown to first and it lost us the game though I do kinda blame it on the bad lighting in the dome we were playing lol but anyways I take that stuff really personal but I makes me stronger when I make those dumb mistakes because it makes me want to get out there and prove myselft and what I can do. Everyone takes that stuff different and theres not really anything you can do about it some just take it hard but there is one thing you can tell them and thats to never give up and just go out there the next game and prove yourself and make up for the mistake that you made, it makes you perform better knowing you need to make up for a mistake and prove yourself again!
Winning isn't everything it's the only thing. How do you feel when you lose? Bad. How do you feel when you win? Great. We don't set out every day to lose. We are born to win, even though loosing is hard to deal with it is designed to help us win.
I must disagree with you Charles. There are times when you know you are outmatched with little or no chance of winning. What do you tell your team? Sure, you always strive to win, but sometimes losing can bring success if you set your priorities accordingly. Would you rather barely win a competition that you are overwhelmingly expected to win, or lose closely to a team that is considered much stronger than your own? The satisfaction and assurance that you played your best is all that you can ask for. Winning is neither everything nor the only thing. Winning is merely a byproduct of efficient practices, and more highly trained and skilled athletes with positive and competetive attitudes.
Yea there are times when we are outmatched, but teaching our team how to lose is not an option. Alot of times we can lose, and we will, so keeping a winning attitude is important. Remember success comes when we don't quit. Failure comes when we quit. But their remain inside that feeling of Losing vs Winning, feeling Bad vs feeling Great. Athletes are born winners and the sooner we realize who we are the faster we take on this winning attitude.
One thing to consider is whether a win is based on talent or based on effort and playing the game right. There are skills in any sport that don't require talent, but are required for success. For instance, if I throw my best fastball to a good location and the batter is more talented and gets the hit to win, then I'll HATE it, but I will walk away knowing I did what I needed to do and he was better that day. My old coach used to call it "Big on Big".
However, if I make my pitch and don't bother to back up a play at third base and allow the winning run to score, that's unacceptable. It doesn't take talent to do that so there's no excuse. Two different ways to lose, both suck, but if you give your best effort, there's at least no shame in that. The key is being competitive, giving your best effort and letting the game decide who wins.
Another thing to consider is what level you are dealing with. Is it for "development" or are the players already developed? For instance, I have coached 12 year old players in a playoff series and wanted to win along with teaching the appropriate qualities and actions - in that case, I'm mainly looking for ways to develop those players skills for baseball and life. I've also been on a team where a win meant more money, champagne in your eyes and a ring. Either way, let's win it boys!
I'm as competitive as it gets so I say a win is a win is a win. The team that squeaks by a lesser opponent still gets a win, the team that loses barely to a superior opponent still loses.
If you are a player and you lose, you better not like it at all or you might as well go sell shoes or something. If you are a coach, take both instances and use them to your and your team's advantage. The superior team needs to realize it's time to work harder rather than coast on talent. The team that plays well and loses to the superior team - there's a vision of what you could be so build on it and become a superior team.
Best effort know matter what. I remember a game I played in we were getting clobbered but my best effort never stop and it was noticed by fans and players that I was the only one who came to play and It still felt as good as winning. Because of my best effort in a blow out I felt like a winner.
If you are trying to develop, then it must be made clear from the beginning and that means whether you win or lose that particular game is irrelevant. After that, talking about winning comes into the discussion.
When a player knows a win or loss is not the end of the world and doesn't matter today, but will someday, you can teach winning principles like work ethic, competitveness, giving best effort, learning your strengths and weaknesses, etc. In baseball, they do that in Instructional League and some Spring Training exhibition games.
An instructional league game may start an inning with a particular situation like runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. If you are put in that situation in an exhibition/instructional game to learn the principles above and see how you handle it, you still give it your best, but if those runs scored it doesn't matter because you are developing. That said, as a player, if you don't care they score, you need to learn why and get better/develop or find another line of work.
Perhaps this is getting too deep into the discussion, but the truth is, all games are exhibition games. At the same age I was playing college baseball, my grandfather was marching through Europe during World War II being shot at. The great thing about sports is when they teach some necessary skills and fortunately they aren't life or death. The real value is having those skills when you may face situations that are more important than winning a baseball game.
We just had a game this past weekend where the kids started out by thinking the other team was better than us. This was reinforced by a few parents' comments. I was livid at the parents. The game started well, but as soon as we got behind, the kids gave up. They started doing stupid things and one kid was crying (10-11 year olds). We are one of the top 4 teams in our area, but the kids don't believe it.
I've asked the parents to do their part and for advice on how to get that emotion to light a fire rather than douse one with tears. Is there anything else I can do?
You have two separate issues here, and both need your attention. Your kids need to focus on team and individual goals, and your parents need to know their boundaries.
If you teach your kids to work on the things that you've been practicing, and set game goals accordingly, then the score won't matter. It sounds like your parents need to know this also.
Out of control parents is the number one reason that coaches quit. You MUST coach your parents to keep quiet unless they act in a positive manner-by cheering for the team.
Also you must coach your players to focus their attention during playing time only on you.
THere are several good books on parenting young athletes that will back you up with this. Try Beyond the Bleachers-a Guide for Parenting Young Athletes, by Dr. David Eppersonh
As a gymnastics coach, I would say the coach and parents have to train the child to #1) control their emotions in practice and at home, and #2) focus on helping the TEAM win, not the individual. (This only works in gymnastics if there are 3 or more athletes competing the same level.) To help #1... I set the rule "no crying in the gym", (except for significant injuries). I always tell them to go to the break room, get a drink, and come back when they are calm again. After only a few weeks of this I have seen little girls go from crying over a bump on the knee to not crying when they crash hard. To help #2...I emphasize what they did that helped the team (if they did) first, and then I tell them what they need to do different to help the team MORE. I say things like " the team needs you to keep your knees straight and toes pointed, can you focus on that more this week?" and I always tell them when I see even slight improvement.."your knees are getting straighter, with a little more work you'll have it great!" I also tell my student a score range they can expect based on that days practice, "that floor routine would be between a 8.5 and a 9.0, but if you can get your knees straight for the judge I think you could score a 9.5" I always dangle a carrot in front of them, which keeps them motivated and excited. My philosophy is "if you aim for the moon and miss, you'll land among the stars."