The other weekend we lost a close game, and my girls were down a little. I was too, but I didn’t want to show it at first, because I needed some time to pass and think about why we had lost. Thinking of how to cheer the girls up without putting fingers in wounds, I came up with a couple of thoughts on a Post Game Talk. Here they are:

  • Post game talks are an essential and crucial part of game development. No matter the outcome of the game if you win, it’s a chance to praise hard work and … if you lose, it’s still a chance to praise effort. In either case it is a great time to point out areas that need some improvement, and also just to suggest something fun post game to blow off steam and have a little bit of fun. Post Game talks are not the time to point fingers, or assign blame, it’s the time to as a whole decide where improvement is needed, and act on it in the next practice. Personally, I always feel to gain more from a game we lost, than when won. By looking at the things that made you lose the game, you are on a good way to improve and minimize those errors.
  • Post game talks will allow the coach and the team to go over some very important points. These talks do not need to be lengthy in duration, but they need to take care of the issues before they have a chance to repeat. You cannot just wait until practice to go over certain things, because the players will lose valuable time that could have otherwise been spent changing the situation for the better. Quick and honest to the point post game chats are very beneficial for everyone involved.
  • Not all post game chats are about negative or improvement points. They can also be used to highlight positive, high performance areas, that otherwise may fall through the cracks and go unnoticed. If a player did some new personal best records, a quick way to go and pat on the back can go a very long way in improving team morale and sending the message, that hard work both as a team and on a personal level as a player pays off and doesn’t go unnoticed. Even a few kind words end up going a very long way.
  • Post game talks should be held in the locker room and in private. It is still team business that is being aired and while a lot of folks may like to look in on things, team business in relation to game performance, positive or negative, needs to be taken care of by the team. Occasionally fans or parents can forget this and end up putting pressure on where it shouldn’t be. Leave the game business to teams.
  • Post Game talks are like pep talks. Pep talks are used to rev up players, where post game talks are used to settle down players, take care of game spawned issues and go home. Without that quick wind down, players might take issues away from the court, that could have been dealt with in a quick and timely fashion. Unnecessary stress is avoided with a proper post game talk. Some folks undervalue the importance and function of it, but it has gained popularity in recent years due to many coaches revealing that it allows an open and honest forum either in private or with just the team listening. This allows coaches to take stock of the good and the bad of their teams and act upon it.

What do you tell your team after a won/lost game?

Picture credit: StuSeegerCreative Commons Attribution

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