Winning and Losing

I coach two soccer teams. One is U11 and the other is U10. And the first question 99% of people ask is, how did you guys do this weekend, or did you win? This mentality of winning and losing has stirred something in me. Not a good thing. I have found myself focusing too much on winning, and not enough on the players. I have found myself frustrated with them at times when they are losing, and I have had this sad feeling after we lose. This has to change. They are human beings and their lives are bigger than these soccer games.

The things that I want to focus on for the rest of the season.

  1. Always giving 100% - The only game that I was ever disappointed was when we lost 5-1 because we lacked heart. We gave up, we got beat to every ball, we fell apart. It is one thing to get beat by a better team, but to lose 5-1 to a team that is fairly even with us is in fact disappointing. I want to teach them to fight, even when they are down.
  2. Do not be afraid to fail - I need to encourage them to fail. To take risks without the fear of a coach yelling at them.
  3. To be encouragers - when they are not in the game, they need to cheer on their teammates. At practice if someone is having an off day, I want to teach them to build them up.
  4. To have lives outside of soccer - Soccer is fun, but it will not last forever.
  5. Become problem solvers - I want to help them to think for themselves. To teach them that there is more than one way to do something. To not tell them every second what they should do. To encourage when they make good decisions on their own.
Next time someone asks me how our games went, I will not tell them whether we won or lost, I will tell them of the improvements we made. And I vow not to ask if someone one or lost, I will ask them more important questions, did you have fun, what did you learn, what will you work on to get better for next time?

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