We want our kids to play well. We want to win the game. We hate it when they make mistakes. We think if we remind her one more time that it will help.
Well, maybe not.
Over coaching on game day is a classic mistake that almost all coaches make at some point in time. Giving those last-minute hitting tips or trying to explain the next defensive play on the fly seems like a good idea at the time but it really does more harm than good.
You’ve seen it plenty of times. The third-base coach gives the hitter about 8 things to think about before the next pitch. The hitter gets a hit and the coach is sure that those cues were the reason for the success. Realistically, the kid was going to get a hit or not no matter what the coach said, but this faulty reality creates a trap that keeps the coach making the same mistakes over and over.
We practice to teach and to learn. We play games so the kids can show us what they have learned in practice. Practice is where you get the repetition that leads to good habit. Practice is where we can make mistakes. learn from them and then add those experiences to our game.
When we try to over coach on game day we are hurting our players chances to succeed. We’ve all heard the saying “paralysis from analysis” when we think about sports. When kids are thinking, they are not playing and we want them to play well. When we fill their heads with too much last minute information we are setting them up for failure.
Coach your butt off in practice. Teach your tail off in practice. Work really hard to show your kids how things are done in practice.
Let them play on game day!