Expect More or Lose

I sometimes hear from parents, “Why do you push so hard, they are just kids?”  Yes, they are young adults, and life is full of challenges.  I believe that sports, not just football, teaches young adults about life through competition.   As a coach, mentor, and friend, it is my obligation to teach our players that through hard work and goal setting that anything can be accomplished if you dream it or expect it from yourself.  At school, parents expect their children to succeed through good grades and conduct, why should Coaches expect below average participation and success?  My parents taught me that you should always do your best or don’t do it at all.  In my career with EDS, a F1000 IT Consulting firm, we were taught to set our goals high, just above what we expected we could achieve, so if we did not achieve our highest goal, we still achieved a high level of accomplishment. 

As a Coach, I expect more from my players not less.  People will achieve what you expect.  If you set low expectations or goals then that is what you will achieve.  When I started coaching t-ball, my assistant coach and I set a goal for all of our players to hit from the coach pitching after our first game.  Many of the parents thought this was too hard for the kids, but in our second game, all of our players requested not to use the T and we pitched to them.   During the season, a few other the other teams, complained to the league that we were not using the T.  The league’s response to those complaining coaches was that we were teaching the kids how to play baseball and why was that an issue and it’s actually harder to hit a pitch so how was it unfair?  I was very proud of our league for standing behind our methods.

So, do I push my players.  Yes.  I expect more.  I challenge them to always achieve more.  Later in life, they will expect more from themselves and accomplish their dreams.

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3 Comments

Filed under Youth Coaching

3 responses to “Expect More or Lose

  1. Coach Kevin

    Nicely put. It has been said that nothing great comes without great effort and determination. This includes fun. It’s not always about the score at the end of the game, but rather that your players gave everything they had in the pursuit. My players learn that real fun comes from setting both personal and team goals and attaining them, NOT from clowning around on the sideline or in practice. That comes later and has more meaning when they’re proud of their efforts and accomplishments.

  2. Brian Dalton

    I am the parent of an 8 yr old who began practicing last week. He was 10 days late getting signed up and assigned to a team. He was immediately suited up and thrown into a regular practice with plenty of hitting. By the end of the week, I watched the coaches send the boys through several drills that were in reason, but on Friday, I watch a hitting drill where each boy was alone and took on 5-7 full speed hits from boys of all sizes, including some that are currently over the 125 pound Pee Wee limit. I watched as the coach shouted…”we’re trying to make him better”. I didn’t interfere, but there’s nothing about a 130 pounder hitting a 60 pounder at full speed that makes sense to me. I know that football is a tough sport, but common sense has to pervail. Would you agree that this is a drill where the coaches should pay some attention to size match ups?

    • Most coaches will separate these drills into lineman and running backs and try to keep the heavier players banging on the heavier players. Every now and then you do want the smaller players to get used to hitting the bigger players but once they have mastered hitting with their own size.

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