I was working with some young men at a camp this summer on a college campus. I asked the coach if I could speak with his 6 best leaders alone. I was amazed at how honest and straightforward these guys were.
One of the things that came out of this discussion was that commitment was waning with a lot of their teammates because they felt like the atmosphere on the team was too serious - not enough fun.
Later that morning, I spoke with the head coach about this and he said, "Well let's give something a try."
The team was divided into different "stations" where they did drills. One of the stations was now going to be Ultimate Frisbee - in other words - FUN. The guys were shocked. They loved it!
They started hollerin and jumping ... enthusiasm quickly spread throughout the whole team. Everyone couldn't wait to get to the frisbee station.
After a while it was time to get back to work. Receivers were making incredible catches, QB's were pinpoint ... O-Line was shoutin ... The kids execution level was through the roof and they maintained the enthusiasm - all the while it was extremely hot outside - no one was complaining.
While all of this was going on, another school was practicing on the field next to us. Their coaches were more serious than an NFL staff, constantly screaming ... their kids were looking over at us ... I could tell where they wanted to be - WITH US.
Later that afternoon we went to a classroom to watch a movie to highlight some virtues ... the other team just happened to be going to a classroom to review practice film. We overheard the coaching staff chewing their guys out because they didn't have any enthusiasm "like that other team across the field"
So ask yourself: Am I taking this game too seriously? Am I making this the NFL when I am dealing with teenagers or even younger kids?
Plus - kids perform better when they have fun - so it is in your best interest to have more fun anyway.
If you would like some fun drills that Coach Randy Traeger put together, shoot me an email and we will get them to you.