The new season is now well underway for a number of players and coaches, however the campaign may well have not started well for some, meaning that those in charge must look into how to make improvements.
Poor form at the beginning of the season can have a significant impact upon the confidence and motivation of players, however the following factors can help coaches get their team back on track.
Focus on the Positives
A series of poor performances and defeats can quickly lead to players losing focus and forgetting the objectives in which they set themselves at the start of the season. So, instead of overthinking what has gone wrong in the past, it is important that coaches put an emphasis on the positives, however minor they may be, whether it be a particular passage of play or a moment of individual brilliance. A positive outlook is more likely to see results turn around, with the unity and confidence of the team improving too.
Individual mistakes can often play a major role in poor results, which in the early part of the campaign can potentially be put down to a lack of sharpness, communication or understanding within the team. As a result, coaches may have to put a greater emphasis on individuals, aiming to get the best out of players in the process. Coaches must be sure to deliver clear and precise messages when doing so, otherwise there is a risk of only adding to the confusion. Be sure to point out the positives along the way, while also stating where improvements can be made. As well as this, coaches must affirm their confidence in players at all times, supporting them wherever they need it.
Target the Future
With the sporting season being a long one, whether it be football, rugby or basketball, teams are likely to have a good chance of recovering from a poor start and still potentially achieve their goals. As a result, coaches should consider breaking the campaign down into chunks, whether it be the next month or series of fixtures. Doing so will help players to clear their minds and set new targets, which will quickly refocus them and put previous disappointments behind them.
The new season is likely to have brought about the introduction of new players, tactics and targets, meaning that it will come as little surprise if the team is not firing on all cylinders in the opening stages. As a result, coaches should emphasis the importance of team cohesion at any opportunity, with togetherness often separating the best from the rest. Team outings should also be utilised, as such platforms provide an excellent opportunity for players to get to know each other better. Meanwhile, on the training field, coaches should ensure that players are effectively communicating with one another.
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