Dealing with Losses
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Author:  golfman25 [ 21 Nov 2009, 14:57 ]
Post subject:  Dealing with Losses

I am about to start our second season with 8-9 year olds in the local Rec. program. They make it very non-competitive -- they only keep score. No standings, no compilation of W-L records.

Thing is, we only won 1 game out of 10 last year. Many of the kids (including my son) became upset and discouraged. The league makes no effort to "balance" the teams -- they just pick out of a hat. We started as rag tag bunch of kids and developed into a team by the end. We played some of the better teams right down to the wire. My focus wasn't on winning but becoming better at the game -- ball handling, passing, shooting, screening, cutting, and defense.

So as we start the new season, anybody have any tips on helping the kids deal with the eventual losses. Thanks in advance.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 21 Nov 2009, 15:11 ]
Post subject:  Dealing with Losses

First of all congratulations with the way you worked with those young kids. THAT is NOT an easy task. The kids always know what the score is .... don't worry about that...

Talk to them about your goals.. which looks like YOU teaching the game and the fundamentals.... Wiining at this level isn't important... everybody wants to... but it doesn't work out the way. It takes time to learn how to play the game the right way.... make sure they are having fun.

I guess you are going to need some minor victories here.... like points allowed, turnovers, loose balls, rebounds. Break the game down into mini games... how long are your games?? If they are 20 minutes, make it four 5 minute games or five 4 minute games etc.

Sit down with them and come up with some team goals.... let them have some input (try to keep the goals attainable)

Think of little things that you know where they can be successful.... AGAIN, explain to them that you are trying to teach them the game the right way so they have a chance to play at the next level.

Good luck and keep up the good work.


Author:  JeffHaefner [ 23 Nov 2009, 12:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Dealing with Losses

Yes, that's good advice. Celebrate the small successes! If players feel like they are improving their skills, then they are motivated, having fun, and learning to enjoy the game.

You can even track things like shooting percentage in drills. Chart and track their improvement over the season. Celebrate the improvement.

Read this report for other ideas and suggestions to keep them motivated an upbeat.

Author:  Hootch [ 07 Dec 2009, 16:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Dealing with Losses

My fall baseball team just went 0-12. There were two teams for the town and they stacked one team and we were the other, the we traveled and of course every other town devided their teams equally.

It's tough, no matter what you do, say, keep track of, the kids are going to know if the losses pile up on them. I feel like the trick is to stay positive yourself, I like the suggestions given so far and also make sure you compliment every kid every day. Those things won't make the kids forget they're losing, but they'll give them a reason to stay focused.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 07 Dec 2009, 16:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Dealing with Losses

One year our team lost its two best scorers.. 36-40 ppg. One was the point guard, his back up tore a ligament in his thumb on the right hand... so, we really had no point guard. We went 1-26, it was a fun year... I coached my butt off... and the kids had fun.

One of them came up to me in one practice and asked me "IF you had to go through this, aren't you glad it was with us?" Of course, the answer was yes. I see a few of these kids/young men now, from time to time. We always talk about the season and the fun we had.

We ran a lot of goofy defenses trying to get a few more wins but we really couldn't score much. But, look at it this way, how would you have liked to be the one team we beat?


Author:  Hootch [ 07 Dec 2009, 16:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Dealing with Losses

Actually, now that you mention it as a player I was on a team that lost every game but one in two years. That one win was sweet! Coach drew up a play that called for me hitting the cutter so he could take the last shot, the guy was blanketed (at least that's how I remember it) so I took the shot, missed, and a teamate got the board and put it in for the win.

When I look back on those two years I think about how cool my coach was, he treated us like young men. I also remember all the great friends I had on the team. I guess your best bet is to foster that kind of atmosphere and have a blast.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 07 Dec 2009, 16:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: Dealing with Losses

As coaches and players, we do the best with what we have... can't ask for any more than that... and enjoy the game along the way.... and everything that goes with it.

Some of the greatest things are when I get a call from an X player and we go to basketball, baseball or hockey game, or just have lunch. Its nice to know that they still care.

Author:  coachmac [ 07 Dec 2009, 18:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Dealing with Losses


What you are doing, is exactly what i would do, teach the fundamentals. If you continue down this path, remain positive and keep the kids positive, trust me, the wins will come. You say that you were down to the wire with some of the better teams in the league the more you continue teach the kids, will get you closer to winning those close games.

Just as an afterthought, if the league is so non-competitive, why even keep score.

coach mac

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