Honor The GameAdapted from the Positive Coaching Alliance.
Winners Are More Than the Score!
Being a winner comes though Mastery of the game rather than a scoreboard orientation. Victory is a by-product of the pursuit of excellence in the time coming up to the game. A winner is someone who makes maximum effort, continues to learn and improve, and doesn’t let mistakes (or fear of mistakes) stop them. Coaches & parents can make a big difference in how these concepts are experienced by players and whether they take them forward in to life's arena.
Fill Players’ Emotional TanksAll players need a positive motivator who refuses to motivate through fear, intimidation, or shame. Parents and coaches have the opportunity to fill their player's "Emotional Tank" like the gas tank of a car. Just as a car with an empty gas tank can’t go very far, a player with an empty emotional tank doesn't have the energy to do her best.
Specific comments which emphasize effort such as "Great try on that last shot on goal, next time though I'd like to see you try this...." Specific critiques with suggestions on how to do it better are the way to go as opposed to criticism or yelling.
Even more importantly work to remain positive even when things aren't going well. Recognize that it is often when things go wrong that a coach or parent can have the most lasting impact and can teach the most important lessons.
Following our R.O.O.T.SR is for Rules
Offsides Call Video Click-it Video on Rules of Soccer
O is for Opponents
Honoring our opponents on the soccer field means more than a handshake at the end of the game. It means treating our opponents, their parents, and their coaches as we would want to be treated... even when the circumstances are difficult. That is being a winner in life. Keep your cheering positive and your comments supportive!
Without an opponent, there would be no competition. Rather than demeaning a strong opponent, we need to honor strong opponents because they challenge us to do our best. Athletes can be both fierce and friendly during the same competition (in one moment giving everything to get to a loose ball, and in the next moment helping an opponent up). Coaches showing respect for opposing coaches and players sets the tone for the rest of the team.
O is for Officials
Respecting officials, even when we disagree with their calls, may be the toughest part of Honoring the Game. We must remember that officials are not perfect (just like coaches, athletes and parents!). What strategies do you have to keep yourself in control when you start to get upset with officials" calls? We must remember that the loss of officials (and finding enough in the first place) is a major problem in most youth sports organizations, and we can confront this problem by consistently respecting officials.
Take a moment and thank an official for their time after a game. Finding and keeping good officials is important to all our players.
T is for Teammates
It's easy for young athletes to think solely about their own performance, but we want athletes to realize that being part of a team requires thinking about and respecting one"s teammates. This respect needs to carry beyond the field/gym/track/pool into the classroom and social settings. Athletes need to be reminded that their conduct away from practices and games will reflect back on their teammates and the league, club, or school.
S is for Self
Athletes should be encouraged to live up to their own highest personal standard of Honoring the Game, even when their opponents are not. Athletes" respect for themselves and their own standards must come first.
INTRODUCING THE ELM TREE OF MASTERY
TO YOUR CHILD
At the start of the season, let your players know that:
- You will always be proud of them as long as they give 100% effort (regardless of the outcome on the scoreboard).n You want them to constantly strive to learn and improve. This involves them comparing their own performance to their own performance (i.e. Are they better than they were two weeks ago?).
- Mistakes are an inevitable part of the game. If they are giving 100% and trying new things (as they strive to improve), mistakes are bound to occur, and the best players are those who find ways to quickly bounce back from mistakes.
- Teams that focus on giving their full effort, constantly learning and improving, and bouncing back from mistakes, actually win more than teams who consistently focus on the scoreboard.
- You want your child to focus on the ELM Tree of Mastery (Effort, Learning and Mistakes) because players who do this well are less anxious during competition and have a greater sense of confidence in themselves and their abilities.
RULES - Honor the rules you play by for rules allow us to play fair.
P.O. Box 8124
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Rebecca Watkins Email