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"The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of inspiration."
-The advice Professor and scholar Cornel West gives to his students.

With Soccer 101 topics I am going to dissect what I think a good coach is every week from my perspective. I am doing this for myself and anyone else that wants to join me. I want to be a coach one of these days and hopefully a successful one on and off the field.

Inspiration is a tough task for a coach. But, it is the one thing that he can give to his players that will drive them to do the extra things that is needed in a game. I know from a player's perspective that it helps a ton if a coach delivers a pre-game speech that inspires us to play and to win every single moment of the game. When I was at Indiana University they used a guy by the name of Rob Kehoe who gave us "motivational" speeches throughout the season. He gave a couple in pre-season, preparing for the season, and one or two during the season. We definitely took in what he said, but not as much as we should have.

During the season he would send us these letters called "missiles." These missiles would give us a reminder of what to keep focused on and to help us during tough times in the season. I encourage coaches to write missiles to their players during their seasons. Not only does it give the coach time to think through his thoughts and words, but to deal with his emotions on different subjects. Because if you say something that destroys someone's/team's confidence you may lose that player/team mentally for awhile. Do a few of these a season, but not all the time as the players may get tired of it.

I have been with coaches who bring out famous quotes and try to instill them into us so we play like what it says. For example Rudyard Kipling said, "...The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack." The more ways kids and people are able to understand teamwork said from different people and in different ways, the better.

Give them the reasons by inspiring them and they will not need to find reasons to succeed. Players love playing for coaches that do the inspiring; it is easy to do battle for them.
One love. One Cause.


Well Said Jed, well said!... We're all ready for Saturday.. Good Luck!

March 23, 2010 at 9:23 AM  

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