As a coach, does it ever feel like you have a long list of areas to improve in your program, but it’s overwhelming figuring out where to start? It’s like having the list of ingredients for the secret sauce, but you can’t seem to find the directions. Unsure of where to start, you don’t even pull out the pot.
When I was coaching at the college level, it was easy to get overwhelmed continuously thinking about all the things to get done, have ready, and implement before the next game.
Now think about your team.
If we’re feeling overwhelmed as coaches, it’s fair to say at some point we’ve all unintentionally overwhelmed our players. They’ve come to us asking:
“What do I need to do to improve?”
“What do I need to do to play more?”
“Why does my role on the team keep changing?”
These are all great questions and worthy of a response. Unfortunately, in these situations, we give them too much. We list out 5-7 things to work, but most times, we leave them to guess which is the most important or where to begin.
Consider this – instead of giving your players a list, give them one thing to improve upon at a time.
We call this the “Plus One” approach to player development.
“Plus One” is the strategy that will lead to quicker improvement as we layer on individual emphasis one at a time. And I’m not just talking about using “Plus One” with your starters and best players. This concept applies to every player on your team, including your role players.
Think about it, we overwhelm players with a long list of ideas for their improvement, saying things like:
Give more effort on defense.
Consistently rebound on offense.
Communicate better during practice.
Make better decisions in the paint.
And most of us continue to pile on, adding pieces about their role and leadership opportunities. If we’re lucky, our players improve – if we’re not, they start feeling discouraged and frustrated.
This is where the “Plus One” approach can provide clarity and lead to a more focused effort.
Rather than listing the ‘ingredients’ of their improvement, give your players the ‘directions’ while one by one you supply the ingredients as they progress. We all want to prepare our players for whenever we call their number, and the “Plus One” method does this. From day to day and week to week, we can help our players steadily improve.