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Managing expectation and increasing participation | Coaching Adults

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Posted in: Maintaining Players Commitment Levels.

Managing expectation and increasing participation

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  • Today is the 1st of Feb and so starts Six nations season, before today so far since the start of December my side has played only 3 games. There cannot be much done due to mother nature and her effects she has on pitches and conditions.

    But there are the finer points we can,


    Managing expectations; Individual some players want to play at a higher level and are capable. Some individuals are playing at the wrong level but are working exceptionally hard that rewarding them is the only right option, how do you explain to them that they cannot go any further because their skill level will not allow them? Collective expectations as a group where do they want to be? Is it time to set up responsibilities/goals for different parts of the teams I.E forwards are responsible for their moves and backs theirs and then break down into more specifics within their groups. Team what do I want my team to achieve? Where do I see my team going? What is my teams role within the club? There is also my own expectations,  I want to climb the ranks within my coaching specialisum so then in future I can help bring on the next generation of coaches.

    These are questions I have pondered and agonised over in the last few days.  I am a huge thinker and some time I over think especially when my side performs badly. This leads onto another issue my sides performance. In our last game we lost (3-0) I can take loosing im a firm believer in loosing is just as important as winning because it builds character and defines who you are both individually, collectively and team. The whole day was a rush, the pitch was poor and the officiating was not bad so all in all was a very bad day at the office. What made this loss so bad is that im still attempting to get my guys training and being an armature sport is very hard. I am not expecting a huge amount of the 30 odd guys I have on my books to train because its impossible but I want a nucleus of them to train and it’s the same excuses week in week out. Also the same handful turn out week in week out and these boys get picked to play division 1 rugby. I was that angry with my teams performance I let it show. They were told they need to train and then we can improve. So when it came to training out of the usual group one other turned up. So I supposed I need to roll with the one brings two and hopefully more will turn up. There is also issues with some of the senior coaches but I think these are just excuses not causes not to train. Also I need to remember that this is rugby and its only just sport.

    I know this is very vague but Id like to keep some back for discussions both internally withing my club and for anyone who wishses to give advice.


    many thanks


    hope to have a good chat should people wish to get involved

  • LizBurkinshaw

    Hi Christopher

    I would start with asking them to honestly each answer individually

    • What motivates them to play?
    • Why do they turn up each week?
    • What do they like and not like about training?
    • What do they like and not like about playing?
    • What do they want to get out of being part of the team?

    They may not match your motivations and goals for the team. The ones who want to get better and progress can then with your help sort out what they need to do (ie commit to x training a week, etc). The ones who arent highly motivated by getting better ( maybe the social aspect, being part of a team, etc) you can then plan for to meet those motivations.

    Happy coaching!



  • David_T

    Hi Christopher,

    I think this is a really big area and one where coaches need to be able to help participants, even children, to set and understand the process of goal setting.  Of course the role of the coach is then to help make this goals SMART. 

    This is the best way I feel to take goals from the lofty long term ambitions I think it's crucial that participants have, and root them in a time boand approach.

    Just as important is then the reflective skills from coach and participant to look at why a particular goal maybe wasn't met and what can be learned from that.


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