We have a newer player on our team who is probably one of the most passionate guys that plays with Lancaster United at this point. He’s always willing to chip in time, money, or manpower when needed – actively seeks out ways to improve and never gives up.
And he’s still learning the ropes, which means he falls a lot/crashes alot/misses shots that more experienced players would make (maybe – we are all goons). However, he doesn’t let it get under his skin.
After pickup last night, we as a club brought up how well he’s progressing – and he brought up how we’re all doing a great job teaching him – and that didn’t occur to me.
We are coaching him through – we’re patient when he makes mistakes (more patient than what we are with a player who’s been on the court for a year and just makes a dumb dumb move), ecstatic when he makes goals or clever plays, and overall want him to succeed.
It’s easy to forget, but we are all teachers to a new player. Sure, you came to pickup to play the game – but if there’s a new guy there, you’re also there to get that person up to a level where they are no longer worried about the most basic elements of the sport and are able to feel confident enough to completely enjoy themselves.
So if you’ve got a new guy or gal in your club, just be aware that you’re the one who’s teaching them. You are responsible, in part, for the success or failure of that player. You don’t have to put them down in front of a blackboard and review tape (though that would make you seem pretty badass to them, in a Dick Budkis sort of way), but you should point out how they can improve – chances are they will.