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Author: Subject: Creating the 'desire to succeed'
CoachDanH
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[*] posted on 9-10-2007 at 11:32 AM Reply With Quote
Creating the 'desire to succeed'



I have a team with 5 or 6 kids that play their hearts out every play and 14 others that at most times seem like they could care less how they, or the team, play. These are 10-11 yr olds.

It is getting just a wee bit frustrating, to say the least, and appealing to their sense of pride and honor has not been working to get them turned around. They just don't seem to care.

If any of you have suggestions on what to try I am open to anything. With my numbers this low I can't threaten them because if 3 quit then the team could fold (Pop Warner 16 player minimum per game). I can't even pull them from the field because of MPP requirements. I'd rather they wanted to succeed on their own, of course.
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[*] posted on 9-10-2007 at 12:20 PM Reply With Quote


My guess is that the 5-6 kids that play their heart out love football (or at least are trying to please their dads!). Some of the others may have been forced to play, but probably the majority are not getting the individual feedback they are craving. No, I am not saying that you are not doing this, but kids can be very needy. I have a kid on my team that only blocks when I am completely focused on him; otherwise, he is off in la-la land. The challenge is how to give 20 kids that kind of attention. You might want to tell some of the kids 1 on 1 that you will be watching them, yell their names before a play, and talk up some of them after the game. Actually, I think I have just given myself some advice!
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CoachBobV
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[*] posted on 9-11-2007 at 09:39 AM Reply With Quote


Coach,
Have you elected any captains? Our team voted on captains and our HC gave them the responsibility of getting the team up. He also talked to a select couple of lineman--sorta named them the o-line capts. and got them involved with keeping the lineman in order and pumped up. I really feel it was a great idea--it's amazing how well peer pressure can work with the kids--in a good way of course. Give it a try coach--hope it works for you.

Coach Bob V
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CoachDanH
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[*] posted on 9-12-2007 at 09:32 AM Reply With Quote


BobV, I have never had traditional captains in the hopes that it would generate more of a 'team' mentality, but you make a very good point. Maybe I should be thinking of the captains as more like 'Seargeants' - the level in between the coaches/officers and players/troops.
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CoachBobV
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[*] posted on 9-12-2007 at 12:38 PM Reply With Quote


Coach,
Absolutely--thats exactly how coachralph--our HC-- uses the capts. I think it works out great. Like I said kids sometimes respond better to the good peer pressure of their teammates. Also, Ralph had the kids chose the capts. by way of a private vote. He also picks out game capts. from the kids that had good games and put worth a ton of effort the week prior. Good luck with things, let me know how it works out.

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CoachDanH
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[*] posted on 9-17-2007 at 12:32 PM Reply With Quote


Well, we were better this week. I appointed the 4 hardest working kids captains and gave them the authority to keep the other kids in line. They each lead a squad (kids in the squad rotate each day) during the practices as well, for the drills/indys/etc. We also added some fun stuff, like relay races where the winning squad gets to tell the last place squad what 'punishment' to do (i.e., pushups, crunches, updowns,etc). We start each practice with team Sumo as well (with 12 perfect blocks snuck in here and there).

Switched the D from DC46 to 3-3-5 and that helped as well. All of a sudden the LBs are attacking instead of waiting, DL is firing off the ball, etc. We look like a new team. We won 26-0 against a team that we barely beat last year, so hopefully this will continue to carry over into the weeks ahead.

One thing I did was have the captains that have already gone out for the coin toss 'appoint' a temporary captainship on a team member that they feel stepped it up this week. I think I will continue that trend, the kids seemed into it.
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[*] posted on 9-17-2007 at 03:06 PM Reply With Quote


Glad to hear things worked out coach, maybe we'll get to do a little scrimmaging next year--I know you've been in contact with Coachralph on here--he's my HC. We won this weekend... 18-6. Playoffs are two weeks away, we play 5 "regular" season games and then start the playoffs. I'll keep you posted. Good luck next week.

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[*] posted on 9-20-2007 at 10:30 AM Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by CoachDanH
I have a team with 5 or 6 kids that play their hearts out every play and 14 others that at most times seem like they could care less how they, or the team, play. These are 10-11 yr olds.

It is getting just a wee bit frustrating, to say the least, and appealing to their sense of pride and honor has not been working to get them turned around. They just don't seem to care.

If any of you have suggestions on what to try I am open to anything. With my numbers this low I can't threaten them because if 3 quit then the team could fold (Pop Warner 16 player minimum per game). I can't even pull them from the field because of MPP requirements. I'd rather they wanted to succeed on their own, of course.


Coach Dan,
Whenever there are questions on a football message board ("How do you coaches......") I try to offer advice based on what has worked for me. I make no claims that if YOU do what I do, then you will have guaranteed success. Everyone's situation is different. Everyone has different talent. Everyone plays differing competition. That being said....

Your question about instilling the "desire to succeed" is an interesting one and I'm sure you'll get various conflicting replies as to whether success or desire can be instilled, or whether kids already have it.

I'm of the mind to think that out of 25 kids, I may have 2 or 3 kids who would be successful regardless of who their coach was. These kids are over-achievers who are great in school and highly motivated. Their success has less to do with me and more to do with them and their parents. Then there are 2-3 kids who are completely unmotivated and practically refuse any sort of motivational techniques to "inspire" them. We get rid of those kids, right away. The other 15-20 are the middle of road kids, who will most likely go in any direction you LEAD them. Learning how to lead and motivate is a talent all to its self. You can be a brilliant X and O guy, but if the players don't CARE, your team will not be successful. You must build a "success pyramid" with your own team. We do that primarily with our OWN expectations as coaches. We know we will be successful. We will work year-round in preparation. We will be thorough in our teaching of the fundamentals and will will not accept ANY work that is less than 100% or that player will be sent off the field, immediately. We tell our parents that our players will be successful. We tell our players they will be successful. We will also hold our players to the responsibility of giving their best. Don't hustle? You will roll the field for 100 yards, or you will go home. Bad grade on a progress report? Immediate one game suspension, with probation meaning that ONE more impropriety at school gets you removed from the team, permanently. We run a very tight ship, with high expectations. As coaches, we build a gameplan for our players success and then monitor that plan. It means more work for everybody (players, parents, coaches), but if you want to play for us, then that's the price you pay.

--Dave
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CoachDanH
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[*] posted on 9-20-2007 at 12:57 PM Reply With Quote


Thanks for the reply Dave. I think your numbers are pretty accurate as well, which is kinda scary if you think about it.

We have been much better (at least on the practice field) since making the changes I mentioned above. We face our toughest division opponent this Sunday, so I will see if it will carry over.
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[*] posted on 9-21-2007 at 12:08 PM Reply With Quote


Dan,
I guess what I'm trying to say is that success is based primarily on how high your standards are set and whether you are willing to work hard enough to enforce those standards.

--Dave
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[*] posted on 10-22-2007 at 02:27 PM Reply With Quote


As an assistant coach, I am faced with the same problem on our team. A combination of their age(7-9 year olds), their inexperience and my inexperience, have led to some disappointing effort on our teams part. I agree that consistency and transparency are issues that have to be addressed at the beginning of your relationship with your team and their parents. We weren't clear in our expectations and by the time you know you have a problem it is usually too late.
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[*] posted on 10-23-2007 at 12:57 PM Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by CoachW.inNV
As an assistant coach, I am faced with the same problem on our team. A combination of their age(7-9 year olds), their inexperience and my inexperience, have led to some disappointing effort on our teams part. I agree that consistency and transparency are issues that have to be addressed at the beginning of your relationship with your team and their parents. We weren't clear in our expectations and by the time you know you have a problem it is usually too late.


With experience, you will learn how to head off problems before they ever develop.

--Dave
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