When Talent Does Not Want To Work Hard

When I went to Church today I was inspired by the elderly gentleman sitting next to me. He had some issues with his legs and it was a herculean effort for him to sit, stand, kneel, anything. Anyone would have completely understood if he simply sat through the Mass but no he wanted to participate in every way he could ...

Maybe you can share that story with the athletes that might fall into the following category - the talented players that don't want to work hard.

I spoke with a number of SportsLeader coaches about this issue and asked them how they handled the situation ...

"What do you do when you have a player(s) who is very talented but does not want to work hard ... they are not in trouble or anything, their grades are fine ... but their effort in practice is weak, etc. What do you do?"

Here are some steps ... if you have had success with others please share them:

1. You have to address the lack of effort IMMEDIATELY. If someone does not go full speed, you have everyone repeat the drill until we get it right. You don't have to name names ... the players catch on. The hope is that some positive peer pressure will set in.
 
2. After practice - have a specific 1 on 1 mentoring session about this issue with the player in question. But on the first try do not come off like "the starved polar bear" ... give him the benefit of the doubt, ask him what is up, seek answers to his lack of motivation. The more we build a genuine personal relationship with our players - the better results we will get.
 
3. If this does not work ... hopefully you have set up accountability partners for your players - peer mentoring. This is essential to handle carefully at the beginning of the season. Who is the one player on the team this super talented young person is going to listen to? Encourage the accountability partner to speak with him. Explain to him the importance of his role and that he should not be negative but encouraging ...
 
4. If we are still not getting through - a larger group needs to talk with him, captains or seniors ...
 
5. Then of course there is always the trusty bench.
 

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd