Sunday, April 19, 2009

Principles in Coaching

Quoted from Good Sports, John McPhee’s coaching philosophy boils down to a simple dictum: let them play.

“First, no shouting, no embarrassment, no humiliation. Be the same to every kid. Respect them. No berating, no browbeating. Don’t treat the star any different than the kid just learning the game. Be a model, be an example. Kids are enormously, exquisitely sensitive, and you never know what slight, or what quiet compliment, will linger in their souls.

“Second: don’t talk too much. Give them the rules and tools and let them learn the game themselves. Kids learn by seeing and doing, not by listening. Scrimmages teach more than sermons.

“Third: scores don’t matter. You’re not coaching to win games. They’re not playing to win games. You’re all in it, at that level, to learn the language, the rules, the discipline, the fun of it.

“Fourth: everyone gets equal playing time. Period. No exceptions. One thing I hate about bad coaching is seeing kids who never get off the bench. That’s insulting. That’s terrible coaching when kids are young.

“Finally, most important of all, the whole point of coaching, the whole point of kids in organized sport: teach them to love the game, to love to play. The only measure of success for a coach is if the kids come back to play the next year. If they don’t return for a second season, you weren’t a good enough coach, period.

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