(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Looking for a Way to Fire Up Your Team? Teach Them This

My daughter's travel softball team sometimes comes out flat for their first game of three on the Saturday of a tournament weekend. It's not that the kids stay out late or have trouble waking up. It's more so the case that they go to different schools, aren't all in the same grades, have different personalities, different levels of maturity and, well, the team is losing more than it's winning. Today, they didn't fare so well in the elimination round of a tournament. After the game, the coach talked to me and wondered what it would take to get them to come out with more fire.

Confidence is a funny thing with 12 year-olds, and what makes them wow you on a Saturday at 3 p.m. with great baserunning or fielding will frustrate you Sunday morning at 10:30. They're still growing, they're still learning the game, and they're still figuring out who they are. So, I did suggest that the coach come up with a routine that would include some loud, roaring, fire-me-up cheers wherever they do their warm-ups (but not too close to the opposing team so as to look overconfident), just something to get the juices flowing.

And then I thought of this.

Now that would be really cool. Perhaps it would be a confidence booster -- win the pre-game cheering with the New Zealand Haka dance and set a good tone. Of course, it would help if your play could back up the dance, and given that the dance is a tribal warrior dance, it's probably a good idea to do it not all that close to your opponents. Tournament officials might get nervous, but you have to figure that if the girls can nail down a cheer like this, they can do almost anything.

Yes, I'm kidding, but if you have any suggestions for pre-game, early morning rituals, please send any and all comments my way.


Anonymous Shelby said...

Okay so I found this because I was looking for a way to pump up my volleyball team. I thought a good way would be to make headbands with last names on them. Maybe play a game like JIGALO or Little Sally Walker to get everyone communicating and having fun :)

3:43 PM  

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