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If you want them to BRING IT, don’t WING IT!

Nubber’s Nuggets: Coaching the Coaches

By: Cliff McCrath, Executive Director NW Soccer Camp and Second winningest coach in Collegiate Soccer

One of the questions I have been asked over the years is about motivation. We managed to win a lot of games - including five national championships - as well as setting an NCAA record of 37 consecutive winning seasons. Records like that led to questions like “How did you do that?” The answer I gave frequently evoked surprise and, sometimes, even mild disappointment. The reason people were looking for samples of some sort of pep talks or halftime tirades that would fire-up teams. Albeit there are Knute Rockne and Vince Lombardi stories galore, the answer I have given is: GET ORGANIZED! Players know, intuitively, whether the coach is “prepared” or whether he/she is “winging” it. Even if s/he has only five minutes to prepare it is far better than racing to practice, getting out of the car and “winging” it.

Four Simple Ways to get Organized:

  1. Find a quiet place. Most dedicated effort is developed in solitude. Find a quiet place in your home or office where ‘planning’ time will not be interrupted.
  2. Set a hard time limit. Set a time limit and stick to it.  If you have very little time to prepare then at least find five minutes to outline what your session will feature.
  3. Write down your plan. Have pen/pencil and paper or a way to write down your plan.
  4. Always have more items planned than the time allows. This ensures that if something isn’t “working” MOVE ON!
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