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BECOMING A WINNER

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In “Becoming a Winner,” we find that a winning program provides an incentive for athletes to reach down deep and dig out a little extra. A winning program actually demands a positive response from its athletes. The description of what makes up a player in a winning program is different from that of a losing program. Learning to win over your opponent in a fair, aggressive manner is not only important but is an absolute necessity. A well-drilled, well-disciplined team will perform more effectively and be more consistent in its efforts than a team which is poorly prepared.  Player concentration is essential. Concentration can be taught through the use of drills that require thought plus execution of the skill. The ability to concentrate is both a learned trait and a habit; players can be taught to increase their intensity as well as the duration of their concentration.

Drills, not scrimmages, should be used to teach and practice skills. Scrimmages should be used as “fun” exercises that allow a player to demonstrate those skills which have been mastered and the degree to which those skills have been mastered. In a successful program, the coaches and the team members are constantly learning. They must adopt a philosophy of “We will not accept losing as inevitable.” We must indicate, to all concerned, that we are doing something to change our future.  Our players will not take a defeat seriously if we don’t. Part of this is sometimes referred to as enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the most important facet of coaching, even more important than technical knowledge. Many great coaches were very average athletes and some never played the sport they are coaching and yet they are very successful coaches.

“Team Pride,” is the foundation of every successful athletic program. Winning builds pride, hard work builds pride and commitment builds pride. Our enthusiasm and love for our sport shows in our faces and our body language. Unfortunately, so does our indecision, lack of preparedness, or lack of interest in the sport. Our players will always be able to identify what is real and what is not.  Our coaching philosophy should be based on our beliefs, our environment, and our experiences. As a result, it will periodically undergo slight revisions as those things change. Our beliefs are basically affected by our successes, failure and the perceived needs of our program. Any change in a coaching position means a change in environment and may require some modifications of our philosophy. In the educational setting, winning is always important, but always within the context of considerations such as discipline, academics, respect for opponents, and officials, etc. Coaching is not a “static” vocation, it is ever-changing. It is necessary to not only have a coaching philosophy, but to continually update that philosophy. To paraphrase a recent country music hit, “You’ve go to stand for something, or you’ll fall for everything.”

Sometimes a lose can be a win. In terms of what we expect from ourselves and from our playersArticle Submission, try to be realistic in your expectations. Set several goals in a potential loss so that you can celebrate with your scheduling so that you can give your team a real opportunity to win. Losing does nothing to teach us how to win. Losing can become as much of a habit as winning. Choose your battlefields wisely. Winning is a relative term normally used to describe the success of a team. It is easy for a coach to develop a healthy atmosphere on a winning team - the real challenge in coaching is teaching players how to cope with the  tough times. Failure is a natural part of softball -  the best hitters fail nearly 70 percent of the time.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Marc Dagenais, MHK, CSCS, is a softball peak performance coach that helps players and teams hit with more power and be more dominant on the softball field. To get tons of great FREE softball drills to boost your game, visit us at: http://www.softballperformance.com/softball-drills




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