// you’re reading...

How to Win

Help Out a Fellow Coach

A woman wrote in to Gary Burley of Pro Start Academy in Birmingham, Ala.

“I am just getting back into the atmosphere of coaching after taking a break for six years. I have run into a problem that maybe you can help me with. Before I stopped coaching, I worked with girls who had a drive to participate, were able to get along and work together as a team.

“I have been introduced to a rude awakening, those players don’t exist anymore!!! I am coaching volleyball at this point and, due to eligibility, I have only eight girls.

With such a small number you would think they could come together as one. NOT! Before the season started, I gave them my expectations of them and allowed them to share their expectations of me.

“I explained to them the importance of maintaining a good ATTITUDE whether you are winning or losing, and that having divisions among a team will not work. I have even printed a list of your “Winning Words of the Day” and shared it with them. That’s all been thrown out the window.

“Will you give me some pointers on addressing their ATTITUDES, DRIVE and
PLAYING THROUGH THE GOOD AND THE BAD? My coworkers are telling me it’s not worth it and just disband the team, but I feel like they may need the outlet, because they don’t participate in anything outside of school.”

Here was Gary’s answer:

“At Pro Start Academy we try to show the kids how organized sports can be a stepping stone to success in life. People have three choices for their career: Start a successful
business, go to work for a successful corporation or get an hourly wage where they have no control over their own destiny.

“Kids must be shown the advantages of learning to set goals and attaining them, but it can’t be a warm bath effect where there is no follow-up. I would ask them how they expect to be successful if they can’t handle working with eight people playing volleyball.”

And I threw my two cents in:

“It sounds like, whether they know it or not, your athletes are very
lucky to have you as a coach.

“You are doing the right things. Inspiration and motivation are a
huge part of coaching. Your values are the correct ones. Don’t let this group discourage you.

“The only area in which I will disagree with you is when you say the motivated athletes don’t exist anymore. They do. They are out there somewhere. I have 21 of them on my team.

“Keep working hard on the motivational angle. And work on designing fun practices. Make sure the athletes compete and improve.”

What would you tell this coach?


No comments for “Help Out a Fellow Coach”

Post a comment