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Your Players Have Widely Varying Abilities

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This resource is from a case study in Jim Thompson’s book, The Power of Double-Goal Coaching.

Wildly Varying Abilities: You have a wide range of ability on your team. A couple of players are stars and could compete well in a higher age group. Many players are average and a few are very raw. You’ve noticed the better players criticizing weaker ones. How do you forge these players of wildly varying abilities into a real team?

Much of American youth sports seems determined to emulate the old East German system and channel players by ability as early as possible. Nonetheless, almost every team at every level has players of differing abilities, and the best coaches get good production from their “role players.” Here are some ideas for building this group into a real team.

  • Set team goals. The best team-builder is a goal that excites every member of the team. Think about a goal that is a just-right challenge for the team. When superstars see that every team member is required to achieve the goal, they’ll be more likely to support the other players.

  • Preach the message of the Home Team Advantage. Emphasize the importance of filling E-Tanks to get teammates to perform their best.

  • Get your top players to lead. Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer once told me the key to a hard-working team: “The best players have to be the hardest workers.” Convince your best players of this, and they will set a standard for the entire team.

To read the full response with more tools for building this group into a team, download the book excerpt found below.

To purchase the entire book The Power of Double-Goal Coaching, and to learn more about other PCA books, click here.

These books are used in PCA’s live workshops. To learn more about our interactive coach workshops, click here.

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