Dismiss Notice
Guest, I have a big favor to ask you. We've been working very hard to establish ourselves on social media. If you like/follow our pages it would be a HUGE help to us. SoSH on Facebook and Inside the Pylon Thanks! Nip

Kids and confidence

Discussion in 'Coaches Corner' started by DrewDawg, May 13, 2015.

  1. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    Messages:
    29,851
    You guys know me from my previous threads, such as "Why the hell can't my soccer team play defense?"
     
    Anyway, after watching some more game action, the other coaches and I think it's a larger, more nebulous issue. Confidence.
     
    Our last game, we were playing a team that seemed similar in their skill level, around .500 like us, no overabundance of big kids, no mini-Messi, etc. The game starts (we play 4 10-minute quarters) and for the first 17 minutes of the game we are dominating them. We have the ball down their end 75% of the time, when they bring it down, we clear it out pretty quickly, etc. Unfortunately though we can't score.
     
    Then...with about 2.5 minutes left in the half, they score a bad goal. And IMMEDIATELY our kids heads drop. On the season we're 3-3. In all 3 wins we've scored 3 goals in each game, a decent number, and we've scored first. In all 3 losses we've been shutout (twice 5-0, and once 1-0). Now, the hustle is gone. They get the ball back and go right back down and score again. At halftime it's 2-0 despite us dominating the first 17 minutes.
     
    In the third and fourth quarter it's more of the same. In the first half we had the ball in their end 75% of the time. Now, it's like 15%. They score a goal in the 3rd and in the 4th and we lose 4-0.
     
    We coach them up, the parents are great, and we do have a few kids still going all out, but the change is obvious. Our top player, who's playing midfield is suddenly not coming back to help and is further upfield than our strikers.
     
    We have a regular season game left and then the city tourney, which is what really matters. Any ideas on how to get 11 and 12 year old to keep their heads up? We have the offense to come back from being down 1 and even 2 goals, but not if the hustle and belief goes away.
     
    And, of course, it's not that coming back to win is the main thing here, it's just getting them not to give up. In fact, even in our wins, despite scoring first, we had to come back from 2-1 deficits. But if the other team scores first, it's over.
     
  2. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    663
    The Positive Coaching Alliance has been HUGE for me in building confidence in the players I coach - http://www.positivecoach.org/ - check out the "Our Tools" tab
     
    It has changed the way I coach in a big way. They offer a bunch of free tools, an online course ($30) and have several books.  I highly recommend The Power of Double Goal Coaching: Developing Winners in Sports and Life. It's a quick read but will make a big difference.
     
    The ELM tree of Mastery is exactly what you want for the situation you described. It works. Every day we talk about why we're here, it's not about goals like winning, but putting in a winning process, Effort, Learning, Mistakes = ELM.  I make it my own a bit and talk every time we get together as a team about playing as hard as we can (effort), getting better (learning/not being afraid to make mistakes) and having fun. When you have a solid process, winning takes care of itself. Players stop playing to the score and play to be the best they can be and get better, that makes it fun.
     
    The PCA is not just tools for how you communicate with and teach players, but also for parents who can be a big help or a big hindrance when it comes to building confidence in your players. I coach basketball not soccer, but they are very similar in the part of building confidence. Last season I coached 5th grade boys, two years ago 8th grade boys, two very different groups of boys, each team was very successful (8th graders went from 4-13 as 7th graders to 16-4, losing the league championship game by 5 points, and the 5th graders went 19-2 in our league beating the only team we lost to in the regular season handily in the final post season jamboree game).  We would never have been that successful if not for the things I learned from the PCA.
     
  3. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    Messages:
    29,851
    Excellent, I will definitely check that out.
     
  4. Skiponzo

    Skiponzo Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    That's really Awesome heinie. I coach LL baseball and this year my 8/9 team started off 1-8. They were down and I was searching for what to do when one of my assistants who I've coached with for many years (older boys in 11/12) said something that changed the way I was approaching them. He said "we are a lot better when we always stay positive". Since then we've focused hard on drills but always with the message "I just want you guys to play hard and pay attention. If you do that it doesn't matter if we win or lose." Since then we are 7-0-1. Nice to know what we are doing has a name.

    Can't wait to check it out.
     
  5. PC Drunken Friar

    PC Drunken Friar Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,756
    Haha, I read this and thought that your assistant is the BB of LL...do your job!!!
     
  6. Skiponzo

    Skiponzo Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Lol! Pretty much. I was really starting to tell them too much info and I think it was making them hesitate.

    Changing that and the fact they started hitting helped.
     
  7. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    663
    Once you get into the positive mindset and start looking for this stuff, there is a lot of good stuff. The Changing the Game Project is another excellent group with the same philosophy.
    http://changingthegameproject.com/
     
    This is a TED talk from their founder that I ask all my player's parents to watch - http://changingthegameproject.com/changing-the-game-in-youth-sports/
     
    The biggest takeaway from his talk:  "The single greatest effect on performance is an athlete's state of mine"
     
    Believing in and implementing this stuff makes kids want to play for you and makes parents want their kids to play for you.
     
  8. 75cent bleacher seat

    75cent bleacher seat Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,576
    This is really excellent Heinie,  I've passed it on to my son, thanks.
     
  9. BigJimEd

    BigJimEd Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,418
    PCA is a great resource. Our little league holds a couple trainings every year open to both coaches and parents.

    Much of it seems like common sense but is a good reminder and there are some good tools to help you focus.

    Used the ELM tree of mastery for the first time this year. Always focused on those things before but used the term and more formality introduced it to the kids. Just by using the acronym, the kids seemed to relate to it more.

    I've used the mistake ritual for a few years in baseball. Worked well for me especially with younger kids. I would have the whole team do it after an error. Helped them regain their focus and try to avoid that big inning.

    Also did a goal pyramid this year for the first time. Again it was something I was doing mentally but writing it down and breaking it down further allowed me to look at some of the drills we do and which ones we should focus on more.


    Going to check out that changing the game link more tonight. Wasn't aware of them. Looks good. Thanks.
     
  10. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    663
    This is in the Changing the Game TED talk linked above - it's worth having on its own:
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReKw6J5tK2c
     
  11. Doug Beerabelli

    Doug Beerabelli Killer Threads Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    9,141
    Heinie intro'd me to PCA, too.  Doing my best as an assistant for 10 u travel baseball to implement it, or teach it in what we do.  Our HC doesn't follow it specifically, but does do things in the mind of positive reinforcement, moving on from mistakes, getting better throughout the season, shorter term ascertainable goals.   It's hard to never be negative (especially when they goof off or don't pay attention or give full effort), but PCA offers some non "screaming" ways to deal with that, too.
     
    Work in progress, but as I continue to be invovled in coaching, PCA ideas make more and more sense.
     
  12. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    Messages:
    29,851
    Just as a postscript---we entered the city tournament. The matchups are a blind draw (the 8-0 team had a first round game and lost, while a 3-3-2 team got a bye), although they try to schedule you against a team from another part of the city that you haven't seen.
     
    We played last Tuesday and lost in PKs. It was the best game the kids had played all year. They scored first, on the only shot they had all night. Our keepers never touched the ball the entire game except for a goal kick. Unlike all season long though, the kids kept battling and my daughter tied it up in the 3rd quarter. We pushed and pushed and were in their end the last 8 minutes but couldn't get a second goal. In PKs, 3 of their kids put their shots off the underside of the crossbar and in. Completely ridiculous and random. We had no shot. We lost 4-2 as we had 2 kids drill it right at their keeper.
     
    Our kids were actually bummed that we were done, they knew that it had finally clicked for them.
     
    And I heard today that the team that beat us won their next 2 games and is in the final.
     
  13. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    663
    Sounds like a fantastic end to the season, with a bunch of kids hungry for more.
     
    "Completely ridiculous and random"
     
    And that is why anyone who puts much consideration into the score at youth sporting events is foolish. The results are frequently "Completely ridiculous and random".  Having fun, building confidence, learning skills, making friends etc is not.
     

Share This Page