8 Ways To Help Your Team Overcome A Weakness

January 29, 2011 by  Filed under: Management 

Every team has a weakness, just like every player has a weakness. Every offensive scheme has a deficiency…as does every defensive system. The best way to camouflage those weaknesses is to be honest about them and figure out to minimize them. Here’s a step-by-step plan to do just that…enjoy!

8 ways to keep from beating yourself and get on the road to success

  • Admit that it exists. You’ve got to identify your team’s weakness before anyone else does. Once you’ve identified your shortcomings, you can style your offensive and defensive schemes around hiding it.
  • Be specific. Whether you’ve got a slow-footed setter or a hitter with a poor armswing, you’ve got to be specific with yourself and your coaching staff about how other teams will try to beat you. And then give those athletes tools to overcome their deficiencies.
  • Set quantifiable goals. Using our hitter with the poor armswing as an example, you could give her measureable times to come in and work on her mechanics. During season, you’d like her to be able to verbalize what she’s doing wrong 100% of the time…and to perform the skill correctly 50% of her opportunities.
  • Seek advice and guidance from others. Sometimes we can’t see what’s right in front of our faces. We think that we’ve got it together, we can see our weaknesses, and know how to fix them. But then we sit down with our assistants and they bring up something totally different.
  • Assess regularly. The whole purpose setting those quantifiable goals that we talked about earlier was to be able to assess ourselves and our success. Does our hitter understand what she’s doing wrong? Can she feel it as she’s doing it? Is she able to self correct?
  • Challenge the weakness. Perhaps your hitter is great in drills, but she struggles with transition in game-like situations. That’s your new focus with her. If you don’t challenge her…your opponents will.
  • Keep a journal. Or keep your practice plans. You’ll just need a method to go back and look at your athlete’s progress and the plan you had for her. This way, when you’re frustrated because she’s still not getting better…you can reflect on just how far she’s come.
  • Be patient. Developing bad habits takes time…and so does breaking them in order to build new ones. You want to correct your hitter’s armswing not only because she’ll be a better player for you, but also because she’s risking getting seriously injured. Helping her with that is worth the time, right?

I believe that this method will work at the individual as well as program-wide level. Good luck!

Dawn Redd is the Head Volleyball Coach at Beloit College. Come visit Coach Dawn’s community of coaching nerds and team leaders over at her blog, http://www.coachdawnwrites.com, where she teaches how to become an excellent coach, motivate individuals, and build successful teams.

Twitter: @CoachDawnWrites

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