Handling Sudden Change-Having Resilience
When something goes wrong, do you tend to bounce back or fall apart? When you have resilience, you harness inner strengths and rebound rapidly from a setback or challenge.
Coaching youth football requires strong resilience. As a youth football coach you must be able to handle and coach through adversity. Coaches must preach resilience and how to handle sudden change. Sudden change is a turning point in the game in which the game goes from positive to negative for your team. For example, say your offense throws an interception and the defense returns it for a touchdown. Many times you will see coaching staffs just yell, argue, or just stand there and say nothing.
Football coaches must make sure their kids have a “short memory” when sudden change transpires. Coaches need to preach “short memory”, but they need to lead by example as well. Coaches should ALWAYS maintain a positive attitude throughout any sort of adversity or sudden change occurrences. What I do with my team is anytime in practice or in a game something happens negatively, the word we use is “reload”. This means will we get over the negatives and move onto the next play. If coaches lose their cool, it will rub off on the kids and the kids will lose their cool.
Coaches that cannot handle sudden change usually:
- Panic/ sudden disorganization.
- Give up- they stop coaching/competing.
- Does nothing to refocus the team after negative plays.
- Lose close games.
- Get desperate with play calling.
- Uses excuses.
- Yells at the referees.
- Blames the kids.
It is imperative as a coach that you do not let the negatives linger and influence the rest of the game. The play is over, you cannot change it, focus on what you can control and that is the next play. I have a saying I use quite frequently: Gauge yourself not when things are going well, but when things aren’t going well. Anyone can be a good leader or maintain their composure when things are going well. A person’s true character will reveal itself when they are put into a tough situation.
Resilience is not just needed to be successful in youth sports, it’s needed to thrive in life. Resilience is a trait needed in our social society, work places, sports, and all levels of education. You must be able to fight through any kind of struggles or adversity that life throws at you. Never let your kids or other coaches quit. Always keep fighting regardless of the situation. If a negative play gets your team down “reload” and get back after it again!
Practicing resilience in practice:
- Competition. Have the kids compete against one another. All drills should be competitive, keep scores. Always shoot and believe in victory. Do nothing to lose.
- Make them execute plays while they are tired.
- If a mistake happens, go right back to the kid. For example, if a kid drops a ball in practice correct the issue and throw it to him again till he catches it.
- Practice situational football. Practice a hurry up offense/two minute drill. Practice goal-line defense. Kick/punt blocking. Prevent. Hands team. These are all tense situations that should be practice often so when these situations arise in a game your coaches and players are prepared.
- Competitive and tough practices breed physical teams.