The moment we stop thinking about what we can do better, how we can improve, and we give control over to external factors is the moment we are destined to lose.
A coach has the ability to make a player feel great about what they have done, whether the team won or lost. Coaches have the ability to give players memories that will stay with them a lifetime, reinforcing hard work and effort, and reducing pain from things a player cannot control. The key is really to decide what the coach wants to focus on, because they have the ability to shape the identity of a kid at crucial stages of development.
If we continue to praise mastered tasks we’ll see stagnation. If we encourage the status quo, we are by default discouraging development. We don’t criticise our teens for being potty trained, but we don’t praise their toilet-skills either. Praising our teens for their accomplishments is great, but if we want to see further accomplishment we encourage them to keep building on their previously learned skills.
The reality is that the nature vs nurture debate is null. It is impossible to take one side over another and answer all of the arguments against, no matter which side you take. Why? Because in every facet of life there are Messi’s and Ronaldo’s. There are people who are just naturally good, and people who are driven to be the best.
The majority of people who commit suicide do so because they feel the world would be better off without them. In fact, suicide letters in a study revealed that this was the difference between people who completed suicide and those who attempted suicide. People who succeeded felt they had nothing to offer the world. We can do better.
Don’t look to fix a broken process. Look at how you can make things the way you want them to be.
“You play football with your head, and your legs are there to help you.” – Johan Cruyff.
Develop the young mind, and the young legs will catch up.
Why do you want to win? Nobody likes the feeling of losing. The real question is this: What do you consider winning to be?
Youth coaches are leaving a legacy. They leave behind ripples in the lives of others. If you throw a rock into a lake it creates ripples a long time after the rock is disappeared and at the bottom of the lake. We all leave ripples.
Mental toughness is leaving it all on the field, because anything else is less than you owe yourself and your team for all the work you put into being there to start with.