How to Motivate Your Team after a Loss

It is never easy losing a game and it is especially heartbreaking for the younger players because they may not understand how to handle it.  Even more mature team members may have a hard time with losses so how does a coach motivate a team after losing?  The following are some tips on how to motivate your team after a loss:

  • Play up the Positives – Not all losses occur because a team is playing poorly.  They just happen because another team may have been better on that day.  For this reason, it is very important to work on the positive aspects of the game rather than focusing on the negative.  Take one play that was executed perfectly and illustrate how other plays can be done in the same way.  Never say negative things to a team, particularly a young team as this can make them lose interest in the game all together.
  • Do Not Single Out One Player – While there may have been one shining star on the team for the day, do not single them out.  It is a team sport therefor the entire team needs to know where they need improvement.  If you single out one player, they may think that they do not need to work as hard as the others and this can create a conflict in the team.
  • Get Back To Basics – Have the team run some easy drills before setting them on the harder ones.  The easy drills get them motivated and help them to see that they are not playing poorly, but just need more work.  Always praise those who are doing well in the easy drills, particularly those players who are not up to speed, to give them the confidence for the harder drills.

Coaching a team that loses regularly can be a difficult task but even losing teams can come up through the ranks to win in the end.  Remember the basics and always praise even the worst player on the team to help keep their confidence up.  Play up the positives and your team will respond in a positive way!