Every coach is challenged with the task of winning games. Unfortunately, a lot of factors are out of the coach's control, such as personal abilities and referee calls. And even when a coach has the perfect game plan and execution, sometimes his team may lose to a better opponent. Whether it is a win or loss, the coach is largely responsible for creating a winning attitude for his or her program.
Always Remain Positive
I have been fortunate enough to have great times that were comprised of exceptional athletes, many of whom have later gone on to play college and professional sports. On the flip side, some of my teams have lacked significant talent and ability and struggled to win a single game. Regardless of the outcome of a game or season, a coach has to remain positive.
There are always positive moments to reflect on during and after a competition: maybe someone set a great screen or hit a difficult shot, perhaps an athlete performed a good block on a defensive play, there could have been a perfect handoff on a relay or acknowledge players for consistently working hard during a match. As a coach you have to find that beacon of light and let it shine at all times.
Athletes will benefit immensely in the long run if you consistently encourage athletes to perform their tasks correctly at all times. This can be incredibly challenging when competitions become lopsided. Whether you're blowing a team out or getting stomped by an opponent, teach athletes to always focus on completing their tasks efficiently, even if their performance will not have a great impact on the current game. This ideology instills a positive attitude in your players.
Be a Good Sport
One-sided games can cause both sides of a match to lose focus on being a good sport. The winning team can desire to run up the score and taunt the opposition, while the losing team may resort to dirty or more physical play. It is the job of a coach to keep the team calm and collected in both situations. Good sportsmanship fosters a winning attitude in a tough defeat or an easy win.
Coaches tend to show favoritism to the best athletes on a team. These individuals have a greater margin of error than anyone, but they can also receive a lot of blame when things don't turn out well for team. As a coach, one must be fair and treat every player according to what is just. It's not practical to think that every athlete will be treated the same because each individual requires a unique approach.
Developing a winning attitude extends to every athlete on the team, the parents and even the community. When all that are involved feel like they are a part of the process, then they will support the team, the athletes and even the coach under any circumstances.
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