It all starts with the laminated cards I handed out at the end of the 2012 season and throughout the summer. As you know, they are double-sided cards with a series of quotes. This blog will give me the first opportunity to spend time explaining each section of the cards. Please spend the time reading these posts and, by all means, respond to them. If I am sharing my thoughts with you, I fully expect you to return the favor.
I will start with the three goals.
1. PLAY HARD ~ PLAY TOGETHER ~ PLAY SMART
There are certainties that need to be understood: the game is 80 minutes, it takes twenty-two active participants to play the game, and your goalie faces the goal in which you should score. If there are any moments where a player is not playing her hardest, then the game has shifted to an ten-versus-eleven situation. If there are moments where you are not playing with your teammates, then the game has shifted to ten versus twelve = you are actively playing for the other team. If you are not making good decisions on the field, you can control that. If you can not make good decisions on the field, then the coach will change that.
2. DO THE SIMPLE THINGS RIGHT
Keep It Super Simple = KISS. The game is very simple: keep the ball from the other team and put that ball into the other net more times than they put the ball in your net. It gets complicated when players try to make the game more than it is supposed to be. There are ways to keep the ball from the other team. Learn them. There are locations where the other team’s goalie cannot guard. Figure that out. Worry about nothing more.
3. RESULTS MATTER
The coaches and players who say that“winning isn’t everything” are the ones trying to make changes to a system. A focus on winning taints that change in focus. But eventually that becomes just an appeal to keep players interested.
Sadly, losing is not that interesting and players tend to gravitate towards programs that are interesting. Getting results is very important. Results are a step-by-step process towards winning. Results are in the forms of consistent execution of desired skills. Consistent results mean that you are winning. Winning is important to excite the fans and grow the program. Winning is its own reward. Winning is proof of hard work. Winning is not the only thing, but it is the “everything” that the community actually understands.
For me, this is my third year as the varsity coach. There are eyes on me.
People who are assessing my coaching performance will determine my further
influence on this high school program. While conference teams all around us are further distancing themselves from us because of their player commitment to the programs, I get judged based on the results of about twenty-two games in a two-month time period. I do not get the luxury of comparing any off season
training methods or opportunities. I do not get to show the numbers of players
who do not play at the youth level compared to the number of players in other
communities. I do not get to argue the difference twenty miles makes within our conference. I only get the here and now. This is my moment to be judged. Yes, I feel the weight of that responsibility. So, understand all of this before
getting upset that I will be demanding excellence.