How we manage the loss could be the missing link to amazing success.   

Some may have a different philosophy in thinking about only winning. And yes we all want continued success but sometimes having a loss develops skills as a coach outside of technical development of players, such as emotional management of the team and players to management of ourselves as coaches.  

Here are Norma Plummer’s tips for coaches when dealing with a loss…

 1. Manage your expectations

Prevent disappointment by establishing in advance what you can realistically expect from your team, taking all circumstances into consideration (eg. Injury, the opposition, current form).

2. Control what you can control

Manage each element of the team that you can, keeping in mind that you can only control yourself. Create the best possible opportunity for players to play at the best of their ability through your own actions.

“An Australian coach once said to me after a loss “plan and be strong in your selection, to create the outcome you want” It resonated all my career… Plan the outcome you want.”

3. Know your teams strengths and weaknesses

Be aware of your teams strengths and weaknesses as a whole as well as each player and member of coaching staff. Make sure that you play into and capitalise on each of these.

4. Control your emotions – players don’t want to see you panic

Whether you’re feeling sad, angry, frustrated or deflated, players need you to educate them and support them. Even after a loss, you are responsible for helping the team to put the pieces back together.

5. If defeated in the rounds learn from it and fix it before finals

Making a mistake is perfectly acceptable, as long as there is education and training around why the mistake must be prevented from occurring again. Don’t let errors continue occurring, step in and make a change sooner rather than later.

Norma Plummer posed a very important question to us – do we need to fail to succeed?  She believes we do.

Is losing a game another step towards winning? Or, do we need to fail to succeed?