Sometimes we say, before attempting any thing, that we are excited for the activity and will enjoy it, or learn from it, “regardless of outcome”. True, we should always be hoping and expecting to learn from our situations, but too often this phrase is used as a built-in excuse.
We say, in advance, that we don’t really care about the outcome.
In sports, this is used when a team is young or inexperienced, or perhaps just unsure.
Having a good process and executing it well is for sure a key part of working any situation, but if we’re keeping score, planning and working to win is also part of the equation. Don’t give yourself an out before even starting.
Resilience and failure are hot topics. We ask how to bounce back, to embrace the opportunity to fail and try, try again, and we praise the growth mindset that pushes us to do hard things.
The world complains that, “Kids aren’t allowed to struggle,” and we lament the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality. For sure, coaches and parents should indeed embrace their kids having chances to fail.
I’m all for it.
However, I’m a fan of success as well.
Reaching a goal or doing something well is an accomplishment that should be celebrated. It’s not important that every milestone have a party upon completion, but getting things done–being successful in achievement–is not the opposite of learning from failure.
Here’s to getting better and moving forward!
Coach, do you value competitive kids? Of course. Do you want your teams to know how to compete? Sure. Will you work hard to cultivate competitiveness in players who have been working on only their own game for too long? Yes.
It’s important to value competitiveness as a team, and not in a negative way between teammates. Pushing others to “win” in a practice setting, to beat teammates is not good unless it comes from a place of love.
The sentiment of, “i’m here to make you better, teammate,” is a great way to push you team to compete, but think twice before you encourage kids to “win” at the expense of other kids, in practice.
Coaches, we hear, “know thyself” all the time. Starting by doing the work to know what we value, our team’s strengths and holes in our game can certainly help you in preparing your team for a competition.
Also, know your opponent. On the face of it, a good scouting report on their players can be helpful on game day.
Dig deeper, however, watch your competition with a holistic eye. Pay attention to the undercurrent, feel the ebbs and flows of their style and energy. Aim to see holes where they don’t even know they have them.
Find the “secret” to their game, the go-to or the “hope not”, the points in a game where they are most vulnerable or lose their positive energy…see those and attack them there and then.
Milestone wins are exciting recognition of activity–you’ve had measureable success–and are often good ways for people to thank you, or to compare you to those they may think are better than you.
Each game counts as one and the next game should be respected just as much as the last one, just as the losses should be.
Long term success may mean you’re a “great coach”, what are the other factors? How will you improve those? Do you have a road map? Can you teach others? Define your version of success and get on it.