Ask Coach Houser: How Do I Get My Team Ready for the Postseason?

Coach Houser:

We are hosting regionals Friday--eight teams, two days! I have all week to prepare. We have already locked a state birth. How would you approach this weekend?


What do the players think?

If I were you, I'd ask my players some anonymous statements. Before I read them, I'd tell my players this:

"Girls, respond to each statement with a number between 1 and 10."

1 means: "Are you kidding me? I'd rather walk out in traffic. That's ridiculous."

5 means: "Maybe, don't really have an opinion".

10 means: "I believe that 110 percent. I would do anything for that. YES, LET'S DO IT!!!"

You can also choose any # in between. Fractions and decimals are OK."

Here are some sample statements.

  1. I want to work hard this week.
  2. I want to win regionals Friday.
  3. If coach has to raise his voice and get intense to make this happen, then so be it.
  4. I want to make a statement in states.
  5. I'm still enthused about our season! I want to make it last as long as possible.

These statements can be whatever you want to make them; but, make sure they are useful.....what you want to know. And I tell my girls up front, "Your answers will determine how I will coach you."

And these HAVE to be anonymous. So hand out identical paper and identical pencils. Have them spin around where no girl can see each other's papers. This will ensure that the girls put down what they REALLY feel, and not what they think their coach and teammates think they SHOULD feel.

Warning: You may get a few girls who answer one or more them with a 5 or a 3 or something. You CAN'T get your feelings hurt. You wanted to know what they truly felt, right? Well, you're getting it.

It's OK if they put 8, 7, etc. I hope you don't get 5's or 3's. But if you do, then you do. If the average of each one is impressive (over 8.0), then post those answers on the wall somewhere.

Two years ago, when our answers to all the questions averaged to an astonishing 8.75, then we became "The Team Of 8.75."

It was everyone's jersey number on the website for a while, we said it when we broke up from huddles, our team mascot's jersey had "8.75" on it instead of a regular number, we placed signs in the gym with 8.75 written on each one and left them there for a few weeks, etc.

Maybe this will give you some ideas.

Tom Houser
Head Coach, 2010 Roanoke Juniors 16's National
JOVC Qualified-2006, 2009
Director, STAR Volleyball Camps
Author, "I Can't Wait" Drill Collection and Ebooks

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