Lax Lingo: “Echo!” Your Play Calls from the Bench
As a coach, it can be difficult to communicate with your players on the field during games, no matter what sport they are playing. Try this simple technique to get all your players on the same page!
Coaches have to be loud. Everyone knows that. But there comes a point when no amount of screaming or yelling to your players is going to get your message across. They might be all the way on the other side of the field. Or tunnel vision kicks in once the action comes their way and they are lost inside their helmets.
In fact, you can do more harm than good trying to yell over everything.
Especially if you are coaching youth or beginning players. Eventually, you are going to look and sound like a Psycho. You can actually lose respect from your players and parents this way. The best time to talk to your players is on the sideline during a timeout or when they come off the field.
Youth sports is about letting the kids play and learn the skills and lessons needed to be successful- in games, as memebers of a team, and beyond to school and their adult lives. The score doesn't really matter, so there really shouldn't be anything to yell about too much.
Your players are not robots, so don't try to control everything they do. We recently read an article from Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) about "Joysticking" your team- moving your players around like a videogame. Let them learn and figure things out for themselves. Let them fail. Just make sure they are having fun while they do it.
There is also a lot of value in being able to communicate clearly and effectively with your players on the field. This is especially important when you have spent time in practice working on a certain play or strategy, and you want to put it into your next game. Use this simple technique to make your voice heard over all the action.
RELATED "LAX LINGO":
- "Wolf!" and "Bear!": These are two simple terms we hear coaches using to communicate quickly and clearly to their players that there is a "Man On!" "Somebody is coming to get you!"
- "Draw!" and "Dump!": This is one of the basic principles that coaches and players at every level should know and understand how to move the ball to the open man to score!
- "Find!" the Open Man: This is one we really like hearing coaches using with their players. One word can help your players react and respond to situations on Offense and Defense!
- "Stop and Chop" and How to Stop It!: This is one you do not want your players to do on Defense. Use this term to help correct poor defensive habits in all your players.