As the coach, your team looks to you for approval – whether it always seems like it or not. When discussing a mistake made during play, be sure to phrase your words carefully. Discuss the effort and not the result. If you focus on the result or outcome, players will equate approval with results and not effort.
In youth sports, this trumping of results over effort leads to kids “freezing up” and “choking.” Kids will increasingly hesitate to take risks for fear of failure. Encourage kids to take risks and to fail. You will accomplish two things with this success strategy:
(1) Improve the long-term performances of players and the team and
(2) Keep kids playing the sport.
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