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Positive Approach to Losing

23 Jun Positive Approach to Losing

The Modern Game’s catchcry is “Where Winning = Development & Improvement” so when coaches focus on winning (via scoreboard results), we encourage them to embrace our catchcry.  On the flip side, we also have coaches approach us to discuss how they handle a situation where their team loses most weeks.

Here, Peter Schwab writes an article that we believe really hits the mark.  We have captured some of the article below….

“If you are playing in a team which is thrashed every week then it becomes a disincentive for those footballers to either stay at that Club, or worse still, stay in the game.  It tests coaches to make those children on the end of heavy defeats to have an involvement which is enjoyable.

They need to ensure training is enjoyable and the players are improving their skills and team play. Everyone should be able to experience some success, even if it is at training.

It’s impossible for a losing coach to do much. He could flood back and try and clog the opposition’s forward line, but that isn’t what we should be teaching them. So we need action from the coach of a dominant team.

Do they or their team really want to win easily? Maybe the coach could start by asking their players what they think. They may be surprised by their players’ response.

A coach could change player’s playing positions, so those who normally don’t get on the forward line or in the midfield can. Those young players who tend to dominate can be tried elsewhere to learn a different role.

The coach can get the team to try new things, focus on how they want to move the ball or try new kick ins.

In New Jersey junior soccer they have rules under their Regulations titled “appropriate scores and competitive play”. It is an interesting read. The rule states:

“It is considered unsportsmanlike conduct to score an excessive number of goals without taking the appropriate steps to play a more competitive game.”

They do provide guidelines to avoid “running up the score” which includes

  1. Rotating players to new positions
  2. Setting purely defensive objectives
  3. Substituting strongest players
  4. Playing numerically short

They state it is important to exercise compassion for the other team”.

If you would like to read the full article, visit AFL Community Club

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