Maybe you’re a high school coach who knows that the freshman and junior varsity teams are lacking talent to send up to your team. Or maybe you’re the college coach whose recruiting class didn’t quite turn out the way you’d planned. Or you could be the club coach who received five players who play the same position. It could be that your team (God forbid) experienced a major loss when a key player got injured.
Whoever is reading this, we’ve all found ourselves in situations where we had to train players to do something that was seemingly outside of their skill set. I got the idea for this post from, Diamonds in the rough: How to recognize your star employees, on Smart Blogs’ website. When we’re forced to think outside of the box, sometimes good things happen!
These diamonds in the rough could be hiding in plain sight
- Haven’t put it all together yet. Whether they started with the sport late, adolescence hit with fury, or they’re just slow learners…some players take a while to “get it”. These are usually the players with great physical gifts (height, strength, etc.) who need tons of reps.
- Haven’t maxed out at skill level. I’m sure we’ve all coached the player who’s maxed out their potential, they’re just not going to get better. It’s not that they’re bad players, they could be really good, we just know they’re at the peak of their curve rather than on their way up. The key when in crisis mode is to find the player who’s on the way up.
- Appreciative of coach’s effort and interest. Those players who look us in the eye when we’re giving correction and immediately try to change their behavior are fired up about getting better. They’re the ones we see practicing by themselves when we walk past the gym. They’ll practice hard for whatever situation we put them in.
- Value team. These players put team first. When we ask them to switch positions or to step in somewhere they’ve never played before, they do it without question. This type of player has an open attitude about change and will make our jobs a lot easier.
- Willing to work (hard) to improve. Not only willing, but these players are excited about the challenge of learning something new. They’ll watch film, come to practice early and stay late. These players understand that working hard leads to really good things.
- Enjoy the sport. Look for players who have fun when they’re with the team. Enthusiasm will make the transition easier for the player and their teammates…and their coach!
As we think about our teams, we should always have a plan A, B, and C for each of them.