Playing Like a Dog: It happens, and we can help

If you have a team or a player having a poor tournament, and they have lost their confidence, then you as the coach need to step in. This is a realistic and common problem and it eventually happens to all of us. It is a serious issue and thankfully there is a simple solution to this problem. 

This issue is often more obvious with your better players because it stands out more, but it can still happen with your weaker players. If you are a good coach, you can recognise it and help them as well. They will appreciate your time.

The discussion you need to have with a player needs to be in private, perhaps with your manager or an older player around the place.

Step 1

See where the player is at. Do they agree with you? Would they like your help?

Step 2

The issue is generally based around the fact that the player is not meeting their/your expectations. One very workable solution is to set some easier and achievable goals.

An example may be serving. Pick an easier target for the server. Set a percentage lower than their norm so that they have a greater chance of meeting that target.

Step 3

Come up with a strategy that may help release the tension before they are going to serve and there are hundreds of ways. Master coach Sue Dansie was an expert at this.

Step 4

Celebrate like a crazy person on the side of the court when they do succeed with their easier skill or lower expectations. They have now been successful and they can build on that action.

There is a lot more on this topic and there are many, many more suggestions I could give you. What I am trying to do with this post is to suggest that there is a successful solution to this regular problem.

As a coach we can help or destroy this player who is going through this common problem. Let’s help.

I will be in Melbourne all week for the Australian School's Cup, and am happy to discuss this further with you, in a lot more detail. Call me on 0401 121 600 and we can meet. I can even help with the player if required.