A Good Coach Believes in Fun at Every Level of Play
Stohlman: It is interesting that the pro model is often win at all costs and the youth model is fun and broad based skill development. However, I am wondering if there needs to be an aspect of fun at every level or is it about the money and winning the more advanced you become? Do you think it is important for coaches to talk about fun and try to bring it into every level of play?
Johnson: I believe to do well in a sports you need to create a competitive fun environment at every level you play. My philosophy has always been to start and end every practice with a drill that really engages the players to work on something they like to do. This way they are working on a fundamental skill and start and end the practice with something fun. The point is to make it a learning environment, but make it fun for the player while teaching them to read and react to a situation. There is no question in my mind that at all levels if the manager or the coach does not make it enjoyable to come to practice, it is going to be a stagnant season for that team and player. As a coach, the goal at the end of a practice is that number one, the players have a positive experience and number two, they are excited to come back to the next session or game with the same passion, work ethic, and attitude.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Jim Johnson for this valuable advice.