Why Can't You Make a Play?

Virtues: 

 

 
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As we all know, coaches work HARD! Of those many things coaches do hard, one is putting in a tremendous amount of time preparing for each next opponent. Film of the previous game is viewed, where what players did well is watched and noted. Specific offensive and defensive plays and packages are viewed in the same way. Obviously, what players, plays and packages that did NOT work are watched and noted, as well. Film of the upcoming opponent is also viewed, of course, to see what players they have, what their strengths and weaknesses are and what will be the keys to winning. And this is all done before the week of practice actually starts!

 
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One of the thousands of committed volleyball coaches in America instructing an athlete.

Once the week of practice starts, however, coaches must shift gears. Now they must work tirelessly to help their players be able to make plays within all this organization. They hone their techniques, so they can make plays. They orchestrate offensive and defensive plays to best maximize their players talents, so their best players can make plays. They rep those plays over and over in practice so their players get in the habit of making those plays. By game day, every coach in America has convinced him or herself that their players are ready, they WILL MAKE plays in this game. Who would argue, they've been working on them all week?!

 
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Do your players drop the balls they are supposed to catch?

But, without fail, those very players that were so prepared to make plays during the week of practice show up on game-day and DON'T make the play.(What happened?!) What is worse, the opponent you've practiced for all week, have got their players MAKING PLAYS, instead! Don't believe me? In a football game played two weeks ago here in Cincinnati, a team lost to it's rival in OT. After the game the losing coach quoted, "“We were having trouble running the ball the whole game, We went with a high percentage pass and they made a play. They made one more play than we did.” "They made plays on their last drive that put them in position for a field goal and we didn’t make plays. This type of "evaluation" is repeated over and over and over, not only by the hundreds of coaches but also by the thousands of fans viewing those games won or lost all over the country. Why couldn't our guys MAKE A PLAY?!

 
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Adam Vinatieri celebrating after "making a play" in Super Bowl XXXVI, giving the New England Patriots their first Super Bowl victory

Talking with a coach, earlier this week, we both agreed that so many games are decided on about 10 or so plays in a game; plays like: a caused turnover on special teams, converting a 3rd and 20, missing a tackle, dropping a pass in the end zone, a crucial mental error, like jumping off-side on 4th down and 1, or even an official "making" a controversial call. It would seem, thus, that every coach, realizing this fact, (or do we not realize this fact?) should make a DETERMINED effort to help their players get good at making plays?

 

Dear Readers, we, as coaches, HAVE to do a better job of helping our athletes make plays. Heck, all us ADULTS, HAVE to do a better job of helping OUR KIDS make plays. Our young people are making poor choices every day, they are dropping the ball, jumping offside, interfering with the pass receivers EVERY DAY! They are playing 6 hours of video games a day. They are texting friends in bed past midnight on school days. They spend more time entertaining themselves than they do improving themselves.....and I'll tell you what we are doing about it: we are idly standing by. In essence, we are ALLOWING them to NOT MAKE THE PLAY. Then we wonder and say,when they are put in a position to make a play, "Why couldn't they make a play?!" "He/she could have won the game!" At SportsLeader, we believe that making plays is indeed, hard work. It has to be worked on and worked on and worked on. But, like everything else, it can become a habit. Let's all of us do a better job helping our kids MAKE A PLAY. Our season, this year and THEIR seasons for the rest of their lives...is depending on it.

Leaders Make Plays!

www.sportsleader.org