SportsLeader is a virtue-based mentoring and motivation program for coaches. This blog shares stories from coaches all over the country transforming lives. For more information contact Lou Judd -

Monday, February 14, 2011

How do your coaches react after a loss?

Over the years I have had the opportunity to accompany quite a few different teams on game day. I've noticed a few similarities in most programs especially when it comes to the post game portion of the day ...

After a win, most teams are pretty similar: happiness, lots of love going around, guys talking with one another ... all good.

After a loss, this is the test where you separate the men from the boys.

What happens immediately after a loss really shows you if you are truly "about the kids".

Two examples. I accompanied both teams from pre-game to post game. Both teams lost on the last play in the final second of the game at home. Both were heartbreakers. Both teams had ample opportunities to win the game and the loss was bitter. I was routing for both of these teams so I was a bit down as well.

Team A: Team walks back to locker room. Coaches retreat to coaches room and silently mope for about 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes 1 assistant coach approaches the 3 studs on the team for a 5 second chat each ... 5 minutes later the head coach calls all players in and gives a 3 minute talk. The assistant coaches stayed moping in the coaches room. All the players went home bitter, lots of pent-up emotion ... Coaches still moping in the coaches room now only cussing out loud ...

The next day at films ... the coaches spent most of their time screaming at the kids about all their mistakes - letting out all that pent-up emotion. What did the kids learn from this film session? Next to nothing. They were too busy fighting with their own experiences of humiliation and anger to actually listen ...

Team B: As they break the huddle on the field, every coach goes up to a player and walks back to the locker room talking ... for the next 50 minutes every coach spoke with the 10 players from their mentor group. Players gathered in their unity groups and spoke with one another. Some were more emotional than others.

Head coach gathers all players and assistant coaches and brings some closure to the evening. It is painful but it is closure.

The next day at films ... coaches and players calmly walk through the game. There is no screaming, no cussing ... players helping one another understand their mistakes, Seniors offering to help Sophomores ... The players listened and learned from the film session.


Which team is truly "about the kids?"
Which team are you?

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