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Knowledge Base Home >> Psychology, Discipline and Philosophy >> Getting Players to Play the Best They Can

Psychology, Discipline and Philosophy - Getting Players to Play the Best They Can

Author: Steve Spurrier, University of Florida, Notes from Portland NIKE Clinic 1998

Treat all players fairly. The way they've earned and deserved to be treated

  • Do not demand too much from the lesser talented.
  • After criticizing a player, say something positive to bring him back the next day.
  • When criticizing say something like, "You're too good a player to do something stupid like that."
  • Support your players every chance that they deserve to be supported.
  • If you must criticize, do it to the player's face.
  • The worst thing is to blame the players. Say, "We did not coach well enough to beat these guys."
  • Bobby Ross told his assistants not to blame the players because: "You're the dumb ass that put that player on the field."

Make all players feel important

  • Team unity can be judged by the behavior of sideline players.
  • Stimulate your players to be the best they can be. Strive to be the best.
  • Coach, Coach, Coach and Coach some more before you criticize your players.
  • Stay in Control - cannot lose your temper.

Practice plans are very important - know what you're doing each practice

  • Be well organized and keep your players moving.
  • Make practice fun for the players.
  • Practice the FUNdamentals everyday.
  • What your players learn is more important than what you know.

Enthusiasm is contagious - Practice it every day

  • FUNdamentals are the most important factor that you can coach/teach.
  • Never get away from Every Day Drills.

Coaches should never criticize another coach or argue with another coach in front of another coach or in front of the players

  • Never allow a player to talk negatively about another player or coach.
  • Be concerned about injuries to all players not just the starters.
  • Make the game safe for the players.

Don't ever allow a player to loaf - no matter who he is. Put him on the bench

  • Don't ever threaten a player unless you mean to back it up. You lose control if you do not back things up.
  • Encourage and demand that players do well in the classroom.

Make the game fun for your players

Have the team so well prepared that their decisions come automatically.

Do not berate the refs - You cannot make this a habit. Sometimes it might be OK in supporting the players. Do not use foul language in front of players. Be willing to suspend or remove a star player if he is disruptive to the team. Be open to new ideas and techniques that can make the team more successful. Listen to your players - don't do all the talking. Maintain a balance between a friend and the Boss.

If you're a good coach, your former players will want to come back to visit and stay in touch. They will feel very comfortable around your current players. Honesty is the centerpiece of a coach/player relationship.

Your priorities must be God, family, football.

If you're a good coach, your players will play very close to how you teach them to play.


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