Ric Flair said it best, “If you want to be the man, you have to beat the man!” Whooooooo!
Or, in other words, if you want to become the best version of yourself as a player or as a team, you need to challenge yourselves to play the best competition you possibly can.
Many coaches talk about wanting their team to be something special. They claim to be coaching to see their players rise to the occasion and to see them grow as players. Unfortunately, in many cases that all sounds really good, but the reality never quite matches up with the rhetoric.
Coaches who shy away from the best competition are always selling their players short. Now, I understand that not all teams are in a position to play great competition all the time. No one is saying that every single game has to be against a murderer’s row of the best teams in the nation but every team should be finding ways to challenge their kids.
What competition is a challenge is going to vary from team to team but there are a couple pretty good guidelines to follow. If your team is winning all the time, your competition is too weak. If you are regularly run ruling the teams you are playing against, you’re playing too weak of a schedule. If your team racks up so many trophies that you can’t even give them to any of your players anymore, you’re playing way too weak of a schedule.
Find a balance, but be sure to challenge your team. Your kids will rise to the challenge, as long as they get challenged often enough to know how.