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  • Writer's pictureCoach Dishman

Changing The Flow Motivational Coaching

Here is a tool that can be used when the team isn't playing at the level you need them to. I often hear that the team was "too hyped" or "didn't have the energy," or "they weren't playing with a sense of urgency."

When this happens, and you need to spark a change, give each player or group of players a specific role or purpose. This will change the energy level by giving a specific role or purpose.

During a time-out, give a specific job to each player or the core group of players that you think will change the game's flow. Specifically, telling each player their purpose will give them a target to work towards. If their energy is too high, then it will be redirected into accomplishing that purpose; if their energy is too low, then it will be raised because they have a specific purpose they have been asked to accomplish.

The second thing that comes with this approach is that it doesn’t increase the player's anxiety level because you're not highlighting the importance of the situation, but you're giving them a clear task to accomplish.


Player A, I need you to cover this part of the court.

Player B, I need you to feed Player C every chance you get.

Player C, your job is to hammer the ball every time you’re fed ... I don’t care where it goes as long as it goes fast.

Back Row, I need you all to shift together.

Giving each player, group of players, or team-specific jobs to accomplish might be the tool to change the energy. It can also be used in situations you want to emphasize, like ending an opposing team's run, starting a new set well, or when playing a team that isn't challenging.

The team will be reminded of the expectations you have set for them. If they remain lethargic, you can substitute that player, so everyone sees they need to play at the team standard. Setting that norm (I know you already do) will provide clear effort and focus levels the players are expected to have to be on the court.

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