Attitudes are contagious and can easily dictate the success of your player’s development or the teams success or lack of it. We all want to do well but sometime we fall short due to our attitude. I have seen many talented players who had all the potential to play in college on a scholarship but due to their negative attitude they have fall short.
It’s obvious that college coaches want to recruit players with great attitude and character so they can quickly get to work by having a solid foundation in place already. When you meet with a college coach, they will want to see how you treat your parents, teammates, coaches, officials and everyone around you. Treat people the way you would like to be treated and you will gain everyone’s respect and trust with time. Don’t you worry about what others think of your reputation. Your character it’s all that matters. And your athletic attitude will heavily shape your character and build you up in a great individual. It’s not only about sports, it’s about life.
Playing sports should be a fun journey that will teach our players many life lessons. Knowing how to react in certain situations can truly benefit our future. As humans we spend 80% of our time reacting to the 20% of the things we do.
Here is something to remember: Our thoughts become words, our words become actions, our actions become habits and our habits become character. In the long run our character becomes our destiny. What truly shapes our character is our attitude. So player with the right attitude will go further because they know what to do in difficult situations. They will focus their energy on the things they can control.
It’s always possible that a positive athletic attitude can be taught but it takes planning and preparation along the way. Positive attitudes come from positive experiences. That’s why is important for clubs to have coaches who truly care about their athletes as people first and players second. A positive attitude will always follow the positive experience but as parents and coaches we first need to model and create that environment first.
Attitude just like effort, it’s a choice. When players compete with a good athletic attitude you can easily see they have a positive belief about the game, the team and most importantly themselves. Their actions speak for themselves because those players know their roles and the fact that they are accountable to do their job.
It’s our job as coaches and parents to clearly explain what is a great athletic attitude and set the expectations early while we constantly try to model a good behavior. Coaches need to define what athletic attitude is, teach it, expect it and asses it to make sure players are responding well to it. Many players are visual learners and if we don’t show them how we want them to behave and act, it will be hard for them to get a true feeling of what we expect from them.
When we talk about teams, attitudes are much more likely in the coaches’ control since they are the ones setting the expectations, building a culture and are in charge with the team thru the season. It’s no secret that attitude and effort are voluntary and always within our players’ control. The more we teach and model good behavior thru the season, the more we will see it thru our players.
A player with a good athletic attitude and low skill level will eventually outperform the player with more skills but with a bad attitude. Coaches love players that have a great attitude, are easy to coach and work with and always give their best. Those players are:
- Great listeners
- Always looking to get more feedback and improve
- Don’t complain
- Help others
- Put the team first attitude
- Welcome new players on the team
- Communicate effectively
- Always prepared to train and give their best effort no matter the outcome
- Stay positive and encourage others in good and bad times
- Don’t look for recognition
- Are respected and trusted by those around them
- True role models
An athletic attitude is essential for an individual and overall team success. Just because your team has a few talented players it doesn’t mean that you will succeed. You will win some games because of the talent but as you go on it will be harder and harder to rely on that alone. Now, if you combine the ability of your players with the attitude of your team, it’s what will allow you to reach a higher level.
When I coach against teams that are really organized, have a smile on their face and enjoy playing the game, I always try to observe the coach as well. WHY? The attitude of the team is a direct reflection of their leadership which, in our case is the coach. Watching those details it tells me that the team culture is great, players are having fun and they all know their roles on the team.
Before you do anything related to sports, please make sure that we try to instill a positive athletic attitude in our players. This will benefit them for the rest of their life. But we first need to define it, model it and apply it within our teams. Instill an attitude of gratitude in your players and you will quickly see more positive results. Now it’s all in your hands to make it happen.