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What to say at halftime when we’re losing

Roman bronze reduction of Myron's Discobolos, ...
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It’s my opinion that your halftime speech should be the same each game, regardless of the score. And I say that because I think you should be focusing on the things that really matter and that is: are the players executing the game plan that we have agreed upon and are they putting in their best efforts as players and members of our team?

So I believe that your halftime speech should be focusing on those elements and not on the score. The score is the outcome of all the little things that you should be focusing on such as effort, technique and game plan. If you take care of those things, the score will be what it should be at the end of the game more often than not.

If you’re focusing on the score then you’re communicating that winning is what is most important and not the quality of their play and their attention to detail.

I believe therefore that your speech at halftime should be in the form of questions. You should be asking your players to evaluate their performance, to identify what’s working and what’s not working, to focus on a few things that we want to do better in the second half and to suggest ways that we can reinforce our strengths and improve our weaknesses.

I like to ask my players to grade themselves in the areas of effort, having fun, supporting the team, respecting the other team and reminding them how much we love this game.

Inevitably, players are going to know the score and it’s going to affect them because they’re under a lot of pressure from family and friends in school to focus on the scoreboard. It’s a central part of our culture in many ways.

What we can do is athletic coaches them is help them place the score into context here to improve on the score means we have to improve the way we play fundamentally and his team and those are the things we should focus on. Our morale will improve when our play improves and so that should be the focus of our speech and our play in the second half.

Remember that by making it a player’s responsibility to identify what must be done then we have taught them to carry their own burden and we’ve made them stronger people and better teammates.

Isn’t that what we want from our sports programs anyway?

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