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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays
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Coach Cross

Post Season Awards

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Our high school seasons are wrapping up across the nation. With this, comes a time that many coaches seem to dread: Giving out Post-Season Awards. Why? Countless times I've been told horror stories concerning the negative reactions that follow this positive, congratulatory event. Players and parents become upset with the coach's decisions and many times angrily react-leaving everyone involved with a bad taste in their mouths.

I, myself, have had to deal with this numerous times over the years-and quite frankly, it's something I put right up there with toothaches and speeding tickets on my list of things to "avoid at all costs."

Although it simply is not feasible for coaches to expect to find some "magic formula" to make this unpleasant time disappear forever, I do feel it is possible to significantly limit the times we must endure this ugliness. Coaches, give the following philosophy some serious thought-it just may help you avoid some unpleasantness in the days ahead:

-Give a lot of awards: Hey, your players have worked hard-they feel they deserve recognition. I give 7-8 awards each season-and if I have a deserving player that doesn't fit any of the established categories, I invent one that does.

I'm sure some of you are thinking, "but doesn't that take away from the significance of getting a special award? If everybody gets one...." First of all, we all usually carry between 10-15 players on our varsity. And I've found that the more players I carry, the more have made a significant contribution to the team in some manner. If you carry 10 players, then maybe you give 5-6 awards-or maybe even more.

The key point to remember here is that a player (and her parents) only care about one thing: The award that player gets-sure they will sit there and pay attention and clap as the other awards are given out-but internally, they are focused on one thing: their own recognition. Everyone wants to feel appreciated-especially when they have put their heart and soul into something-and we all know that receiving recognition for our efforts gives us that very feeling we all secretly desire.

And three-five-ten years down the road they will remember only one thing: the award they did (or didn't receive), and the feelings they have attached to that event in their minds.

Reward as many of your players as you can logically explain-they deserve it, and will appreciate it. And for many, it will help their self-esteem grow!! What's more important, risking that some may feel their award is less significant because many were given, or aiding one of your players in feeling better about themselves and their efforts? Seems like an easy choice to me. Rewarding an underclassman also presents another bonus: "Coach saw how hard I worked-it feels good to be appreciated like that". Sounds like someone that is going to be motivated to work even harder next season!

-Give everyone something: Now I'm not talking about every player getting a special award-unless that's what you want to do. But I do believe in giving everyone a gift of some sort as a reward for their time and hard work. A season highlight video or team sweatshirt are a couple of ideas I've used in the past. In doing this you insure that everyone walks away with something they feel they earned-after all, the only people in the whole school to receive this gift are your players-and that has significance, and again, it shows your players (and their parents) you appreciate them.

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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Our high school seasons are wrapping up across the nation. With this, comes a time that many coaches seem to dread: Giving out Post-Season Awards. Why? Countless times I've been told horror stories concerning the negative reactions that follow this positive, congratulatory event. Players and parents become upset with the coach's decisions and many times angrily react-leaving everyone involved with a bad taste in their mouths.

I, myself, have had to deal with this numerous times over the years-and quite frankly, it's something I put right up there with toothaches and speeding tickets on my list of things to "avoid at all costs."

Although it simply is not feasible for coaches to expect to find some "magic formula" to make this unpleasant time disappear forever, I do feel it is possible to significantly limit the times we must endure this ugliness. Coaches, give the following philosophy some serious thought-it just may help you avoid some unpleasantness in the days ahead:

-Give a lot of awards: Hey, your players have worked hard-they feel they deserve recognition. I give 7-8 awards each season-and if I have a deserving player that doesn't fit any of the established categories, I invent one that does.

I'm sure some of you are thinking, "but doesn't that take away from the significance of getting a special award? If everybody gets one...." First of all, we all usually carry between 10-15 players on our varsity. And I've found that the more players I carry, the more have made a significant contribution to the team in some manner. If you carry 10 players, then maybe you give 5-6 awards-or maybe even more.

The key point to remember here is that a player (and her parents) only care about one thing: The award that player gets-sure they will sit there and pay attention and clap as the other awards are given out-but internally, they are focused on one thing: their own recognition. Everyone wants to feel appreciated-especially when they have put their heart and soul into something-and we all know that receiving recognition for our efforts gives us that very feeling we all secretly desire.

And three-five-ten years down the road they will remember only one thing: the award they did (or didn't receive), and the feelings they have attached to that event in their minds.

Reward as many of your players as you can logically explain-they deserve it, and will appreciate it. And for many, it will help their self-esteem grow!! What's more important, risking that some may feel their award is less significant because many were given, or aiding one of your players in feeling better about themselves and their efforts? Seems like an easy choice to me. Rewarding an underclassman also presents another bonus: "Coach saw how hard I worked-it feels good to be appreciated like that". Sounds like someone that is going to be motivated to work even harder next season!

-Give everyone something: Now I'm not talking about every player getting a special award-unless that's what you want to do. But I do believe in giving everyone a gift of some sort as a reward for their time and hard work. A season highlight video or team sweatshirt are a couple of ideas I've used in the past. In doing this you insure that everyone walks away with something they feel they earned-after all, the only people in the whole school to receive this gift are your players-and that has significance, and again, it shows your players (and their parents) you appreciate them.

I agree coach. Its a tough thing to do especially after drilling them all season on team play, team concept, team systems and then award players individually. I always hated the end of the year awards because chances are pretty good that someone will go home unhappy. I like you, did the same thing, and made up awards and did the best I could. Sometimes its clear who the MVP or most improved athlete is but when its close, its tough and usually I give it to both players and honor both of them. Either way, individual awards are a tough call.

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