How to Keep Players Motivated and Reinforce Lessons
Every soccer team has its ups and downs throughout the season. The challenge for coaches is to keep players motivated through the good times and the bad, while teaching them lessons along the way. This takes constant communication and reinforcement. At Liverpool FC IA SoCal, Coach James Rammelsberg has developed a fantastic method for keeping players and parents in the loop on what the team is learning, how the players are developing, and what training topics players should be keeping top of mind.
To keep players motivated when they are off the field, Coach Rammelsberg sends out a weekly email with the video to parents and players. This additional reinforcement helps players to retain information that they may have missed during a soccer match, when stress and fatigue and other factors make it hard to retain information.
With the email and video, you can educate parents and players on what they are seeing so they really understand what lessons you’re teaching. The video is critical because it reduces confusion and gives everyone a visual of the technique being discussed. For parents, this video becomes a resource to help reinforce what the coach wants to see in development.Coach James Rammelsberg, Liverpool FC IA SoCal
The Weekend Review Email
Here’s the Trace moment of the weekend. Even though this did not end in a goal, it’s a perfect example of how to build out of the back (our topic last week at training). Great off-the-ball movement and passing to move the ball up the field quickly!
Overall I am happy that we had the opportunity to play 2 good teams on Saturday. I think we still have a lot to improve on with building out of the back consistently. Playing against tough opponents will only make us better at this, I do not care about where the boys are now, I care about where there are next week, next month and at the end of the year.
I find that I learn way more when I fail than when I succeed. The day our team stops learning is the day we are in trouble and I’m not doing my job. 🙂
The LFCIA Core value of the month is the UNITYLFC definition. Work together to bring the best out of each other, on and off the field. Believe in each other’s abilities and expertise. Collaborate for the common good across all our communities. This, like many things, is easy to do when things are going well. But can we be just as united when times are tough? That is where all of us actually grow.
We will have tough games this weekend and we will all need to be united no matter what happens.
Training Topic of the Week: Possession in the attacking half. We will be working on passing combinations and finishing to goal.
What This Weekly Review Email Achieves
- Fast feedback: By sending out game video so close to the event, Coach Rammelsberg is providing more effective feedback. Closer feedback with a small time between game and video review increases the likelihood that players will retain that information and incorporate it into their future performance.
- Featuring key moments, versus simply telling playing how to improve, helps athletes learn better. Studies show that watching yourself on video activates parts of your brain that make you feel like you’re performing the action, almost as if you were performing that skill during a practice session. In other words, watching game film is the next best thing to performing a skill in a live environment.
- Game film helps players and parents overcome personal bias: Parents have a tendency to focus exclusively on the performance of their own children. For instance, if a player makes a bad pass that leads to the opposition scoring a goal, that memory may cause the parent to look at the whole game through a negative lens. In his email, Coach Rammelsberg finds a positive video of the team incorporating a lesson they learned just one week before to reinforce how the team is improving. A parent unfamiliar with soccer may never have even noticed the strategy involved in building out of the back, but the email is a way of educating parents while reinforcing the idea to players.
- Positive Reinforcement: Coach Rammelsberg makes sure to let players know that even though they may have lost the match, they are still growing and improving through the experience. This is a core part of helping players to achieve a growth mindset. “I find that I learn way more when I fail than when I succeed.” This encourages players to find lessons even in tough matches.
- Focused training instructions: It can be tempting for coaches to list every possible area of improvement in a weekly email or feedback session. But Coach Rammelsberg focuses on one core “Training Topic of the Week” so that players can avoid information overload. Instead of overanalyzing every aspect of the game, the coach finds the area of improvement that will deliver the biggest future impact.
Soccer Cameras Unleash a Players Potential
Many parents don’t fully comprehend why almost every youth soccer pitch has a camera along the sidelines now. It can seem unfamiliar because they did not record their own sports while growing up. But recording youth soccer has become the norm for teams around the country. As our understanding of learning has evolved, coaches have incorporated these lessons into their coaching strategies.
Players benefit tremendously and can develop their performance much more quickly. Parents get an opportunity to learn about the game and see their children improve in real-time. And everyone gets priceless memories captured on video that they can store forever.