Level the Playing Field with a Good Foundation

There is no sports team or individual who plays a sport that can win without having a solid foundation in the sport of choice.  If you don’t know the basics, then you cannot hope to compete with those who have a better understanding of the game.  Group and individual sports are taught from a traditionally young age as younger people have a tendency to learn quicker.  This does not mean that older players who want to start off can’t learn, but they must start with the basics as well in order to be successful.  The following are some tips for keeping the foundation strong:

  • Work on the Basics – At least once or twice a week a team or individual should spend their training time working on drills.  These drills should offer the players the opportunity to work on the skills that are rudimentary in any game or sport.  For instance, the defense on a football team can work on tackling or on a baseball team the players can practice catching and throwing.
  • Generate Teamwork – Even outside of the sport teams should work on their teamwork skills.  A team needs to work together in order to have any chance at competing.  Have the team hang out together at team functions such as pizza night or other outings that don’t involve playing the sport.  This builds camaraderie between those players that will show when it’s time to get to work.
  • Do Not Single Out Players – Never single out one player for either praise or rebuke when other team members are around.  Speak to the team in general terms about any issues or concerns and then speak to the individuals separately when there is a specific issue with them.  This keeps the team from downgrading them and promotes the teamwork you are working so hard to achieve.  Also, singling out a specific player can either give them a huge ego which will not stand well later in their career or it can undermine them to the point that they want to quit.

Playing sports should be fun as well as competitive and any great sports team or player knows that the basics are the foundation.  Working on the foundation during practice is the best way to have a chance at success in the future.  Make sure to promote teamwork and never single out players if you want the team to be cohesive.