Maximize the Contribution From Everyone On Your Team

Not everyone can be the star, but everyone can contribute to the team’s mission. Almost every team wants to win, even the U6 soccer team.

So why not just play the best players, and let those who are less talented be thankful they are a part of a winning team? This strategy may win your team a few games, but it’s not helping the entire team develop and grow.

One of the most important jobs as a coach is to help every athlete become better at the sport and become a better human. So when we as coaches only play the best players, everyone isn’t developing to their greatest potential.

The Reality

Let’s face it; most athletes will never go pro. That’s okay. So how do we navigate the development of our players on a team who hurt our chance of winning?

We may have to take some losses. Remember, when we sign up to coach young athletes, it’s a commitment to focusing on their long-term development.

They will not remember the championships they won until they get to the elite levels. Still, we always need to keep their long-term development in mind.

Find Their Value

Every player has a value they can bring to a team. Their value may be hidden underneath the layers of what we typically value as a great player. Maybe, they can’t score, but they play dynamite defense.

Maybe they aren’t great athletes, but they listen to the coaches and encourage their teammates. Find a role where you tell them how important it is to encourage those who are playing. Then, when the less athletic makes a great play, have the whole team go crazy with excitement!

Every person has a unique value they bring to the team. As a coach, it’s our job to recognize the impact they bring and maximize it to their fullest potential. You may not want to tell them outright. You can ask, “hey did you know you’re a great defender? Do you know your teammates play better when you do XYZ?

We All Want to Contribute

Not everyone wants to be the star, and not everyone is capable of being the star. But every single person who is on the team can bring value to the team.

The person at the end of your bench deserves to contribute to the team. Being a part of the team’s meanings contributes to the team, even if it seems small.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below; how do you maximize the contribution from your entire team?



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Coach Furtado

Coach Furtado

Writing about leadership, teamwork, and human development through the lens of sports.