How to Teach Commitment and Perseverance

                All too often we let our female athletes “off the hook.”  We let them give up, we let them put their head down, and we tell them, “It’s ok”.  We feel bad for them, we see how tired they are, we see their emotions on their sleeves, come on, they’re just girls.  If you haven’t had this moment as a coach, you’re lying to yourself. 

                We have all been there, because they are just little girls, but are we doing the right thing?  Should we cut these girls so much slack?  Absolutely not.  They may be your princess, the apple in your eye, but just as you would your son, let them fight the battle.  You are setting your female athlete up for failure if you let her give excuses and let her give up.  If she is in constant belief that she doesn’t have to give 110% at all times, she will never know what it feels like to earn the starting position.  She will never understand the dedication and commitment it takes to be successful, a life lesson we would prefer them to learn before they enter the real world.

                So how do we take a stand?  How do we teach and motivate them to make a commitment and persevere?  3 key facts can help keep your athlete’s head in the game:

  1. Never let her give upThis is a duh moment right?  Of course you would never let your female athlete give up; however, how many of you let her quit a team before they earned
    playing time?  You may be as frustrated with your athlete’s playing time as she is, however, let her pay her dues and earn the spot.  Many coaches are loyal to their standing roster, so it takes time to work a way into the lineup.  This is life.  A CEO isn’t going to offer you a VP position the first day on the job; you can’t expect a coach to do the same with your female athlete.   
  2.  Don’t miss practice. I’ve heard a lot of excuses for missing practice: I have too much homework, my cousin’s uncle’s roommate is getting married, I have a cold.  Practices are usually 2-3 hours, in a 24 hour day; your athlete can go to practice.  Unless she is on her death bed, she should be at practice.  Athletes don’t have the option to miss practice in college, so it’s best to learn how to manage athletics, academics, and social life now to be prepared for the future.  If your athlete wants to play, she has to make an effort to show her dedication.  There is a huge difference between saying you want the spot, and proving you want the spot.  
  3. Support Teammates.  Nothing is worse than an athlete who pouts about playing time on the bench.  If your athlete is on the bench, she needs to make the effort to be an effective member of the team.  She can keep score, keep stats, learn more about her mental game, learn about positioning, pick her teammates up, etc.  The bench is a time to develop both physical and mental skill and that time should be utilized to its fullest; don’t let them make it a negative experience.

These aspects of the game will help your athlete learn the importance of commitment and respect the completely satisfying feeling of preserving.  Always remember, athletics teach us incredibly important life lessons and if a Female Athlete
is pushed to preserve through adverse situations, she will flourish as a young adult and career woman who was taught to never give up.


4 pings

  1. Anonymous says:

    I will tell you my story. My dream was to play college basketball. But when I was in high school, I was severely bullied by my teammates and when I played junior varsity and varsity, my coach never put me in a game. I remember perfectly the 30 seconds I had a chance to play. All I did was went up and down the court and then got benched. I was depressed. I was a lefty shooter with potential. But all I had left were the scars of being bullied. It got so bad that my picture was cut from the basketball section in my highschool yearbook. The remainder of my senior year I went to the hospital for depression…didnt go to prom…..was homeschooled….n got my diploma at home. My depression led me to gain weight and I started to attend a community college. I attempted to join basketball but I was still extremely depressed from 4 years of bullying. I focused on my academics and did well. I am now at Rutgers University with no basketball stats. I hope there still may be a chance for me to turn my life around and play. I just never had the support. That’s all I needed was someone to believe in my talents and give me a chance. That picture in the yearbook will always be there for everyone to see………..

  2. Jodi Murphy says:

    While teaching our daughters to never give up is incredibly important, it’s equally important to let them know that they can walk away from a no-win situation. I know when I was younger no matter what I did I couldn’t earn my playing time. No matter how many things I did right it was never enough. At some point you have to go where you are appreciated.

  3. lesley says:

    to be committed is the most important thing. Because many times you won’t see results, like one who is losings weight will not shed alll extra fat at once. He needs sometime too. so be patience and committed and work till u see the difference

  4. Uniform says:

    It is good to know how to persevere.

    1. r471 says:

      Thumbs up ; )

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