I’ve decided not to coach today.
Well, not entirely, but I’m letting go of the wheel more than many coaches would. After losing a well played game vs. our biggest opponent 2 days ago, our girls have been frustrated. Practice wasn’t fun yesterday. We’ve put a TON of time into player development. We’ve been practicing since November, have scrimmaged a few teams, and generally worked harder than most other schools and players have. I’m proud of them.
But I think we’ve done too much. Girls are thinking about so many options. “Can I drive? Which way? Which move do I use to create space? How do I counter that defensive reaction? Wait – my teammate just cut, what’s the best passing lan – oh, gone. Dang, I stopped ripping the ball through the box!” Jump ball/Turnover.
So, we’re just going to let the girls play ball. I’m naming a starting 5 and letting them decide which offensive set to run, which defense to run out with, and just hoping they’ll ball. My assistant coaches and I will handle substitutions, morale, and managing the clock to some degree. But we want the girls to handle pressure, to make adjustments, and to use their knowledge of the game.
I have all the faith in the world that our girls know the game. We’ve worked hard, and they’re trained so well. However, they haven’t played with that knowledge well enough. They are not instinctive. They’re tentative and over-thinking. Since I believe this is a result of my “over-coaching” and own desire to do everything I can to help, I’m backing off. It’s all them!
Perhaps a successful update will follow.