How to coach the struggle
We all know the moment in training where the team just doesn´t seem to get through the struggle. You have a game tomorrow and you are preparing the teamplay, suddenly mistake after mistake happens and the whole team start to drown. No one seems to pick up the phase again and the struggle is seen in the players eyes. Some players hide, some just get through, some get frustrated, some try.
You want to start to react strongly so the team ´wakes up`. Maybe you take a time-out and give them instructions to get back to the gameplan you have for tomorrow´s game. Or you tell them how important the game of tomorrow is. Believe me, I have tried these all too.
When I look at the youth player, I must look at the new all the time. During their growth, much is new constantly. New techniques, new patterns to learn, new feelings, new interactions, new stiuations, new stuff at school, new knowledge of own body. All what is new to them is already know to me as a coach, isn´t it?
So I started to reflect upon that. When the struggle grows in the player and yes, gradually infects the team, it must be new for the players. The youth nowadays needs more guidance from us then ever. So I ask them: ´how is it going´?, they answer: `not good at all`? I ask: `what do we do´?, they answer: ´play better`. I say: `how`?, they answer all the coach likes to hear. They do know what is expected but it doesn`t work out and they struggle.
My solution with youth? Guidance through the feelings. I remember as an athlete the struggle. I also remember the coaches who helped me. When the players struggle, I remind them of how good they are. I help them to recognise that emotions of fear, stress, frustration is weighting them down. I help them to get rid of the heaviness of these feelings. I help them to grow in the uncomfortable.
For these steps to be taken, as a coach, I allow them to have the space and safety to explore a way out.
This is where the magic happens within the growth of the young adult. It´s more then just coaching, we help young adults to grow as persons.
We give them through sports, a platform to explore the new and we provide them tools to accept the struggle and to fight through the struggle.
Within VDC ProVolley Camps, mindset coaching and growth mindset coaching is daily offered withing the program.
The magic happens from within.
Enjoy the journey,
Ps. If you would like me to coach you or your team through the struggle, you can pay my online coaching session here.
Photo: VDC Volleyball camp in Varala Sport Institute. Girls wearing the VDC shirts, Star by GL.