ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Coach The "Uncoachable" Player

Updated on February 20, 2012
The ever famous "stubborn face"
The ever famous "stubborn face" | Source

As a coach, I've come across the so called "uncoachable" player. You know, the one who rolls their eyes when you say something to them. The one that thinks they can do no wrong, and don't want to be told otherwise. What do you do to reach this player. Through trial and error, and a little luck, i've found some tricks and hints to coach the uncoachable.

You've just hit a routine ground ball during practice to your second basemen and she totally misses it. You let it go, remembering that everyone makes mistakes, and hit her another ball, which she again misses. You ask her what's up and she says nothing. As practice goes on she keeps making more and more mistakes. Your second basement isn't the star player on the team, but you know she has potential and you want to get that through her head. After practice you sit her down and talk to her one on one, telling her that she needs to stay focused and try her best all of the time. She gives you one look (telling you to shut your mouth), says ok, and walks away. The next practice goes the same way, and you try talking again, only this time she puts the blame off of her and onto another player. "Well, (Stacey) missed one too at practice, why don't you yell at her?!" She gives you more excuses and walks away. What do you do?

As this new generation of kids are moving up into the high school level of play, i've noticed a big attitude change. When I played in high school, you listened ot your coaches, didn't talk back or have an answer all the time, and tried your hardest! Nowadays it seems like some are there to work hard, and others are there to socialize. How do you get through to these tough to coach players? It's not easy, i'll tell you that, and truthfully, you won't reach all of them. If you reach one athlete though, you've made a difference. Here are some strategies to reach that player.

Don't single them out. Nobody likes their flaws pointed out; not even you. So why do it to someone else? If that player makes a mistake during practice, you can point it out, but instead of saying "You need to stay down on that ball (Kayla)!" Try this: "Girl's, the team we're playing hits the ball well so we're going to see a lot of action. We need to remember to stay down on that ball so we can make the plays!" That directs the mistake at everyone, instead of the person who made it. Also, don't pull them aside after practice. When we would see that, immediately you think they're getting into trouble; that the coaches couldn't say it in front of everyone. It was almost dreaded to be held after practice to be talked to, for something good or bad. Instead, grab them at practice while there's a break, or when there are different groups doing different things. It makes it less intimidating and more casual, which brings me to my next strategy.

Keep conversations casual. The more "friendly" you are with your players, the more they'll like you and respect you. If you come into practice and games like you have control and power, more than likely the players won't respond well. Keep to their level of power. Yes you make the decisions, but don't let that get to your head. When you want to bring something up about practice, like missing ground balls, start the conversation about something totally different. Ask about school or something that's going on at that time, then ask about practice. Try this: "So (Paige), you going to the boy's game tomorrow night? I hear it's supposed to be a good one?" Then she'll answer and you'll say "Yanno, I hear they have a good girls team too; plenty of hitters. I'll probably be hitting some extra infield/outfield the next few practices. Hopefully we can fix that you're pulling your head up from the ball before it gets to you. Let me know if you want even more grounders. I'll help you out." Be sure to use words like we, help, and the team. By pulling the blame directly off of that player, it will ease her mind when you say "we."

Don't over practice. Hitting hundreds of ground balls at a player who is struggling will only make matters worse. It makes it even worse than that if you're player is stubborn. If you're going to give extra grounders, give them to everyone. Unless the stubborn player asks for extra, keep it equal. If you want to be sneaky about it, you can slip in a few extra to her. For example, while hitting fly balls to the outfield, you can sneak a few in to her while the ball is in the air. If you do this, be sure not to single her out. Hit some to other players as well. But this way, you don't have to hit them to all the players, plus she's getting a little extra without being singled out. It's like it's part of practice.

Be honest, but sympathetic. Lying never gets you anywhere, especially with a player who is sort of fragile to begin with. Be honest about expectations, but don't sound like a sergeant when speaking it. Explain that you want them to win, but they need to want it to so working hard is a must. Also explain that if someone isn't pulling their weight, they may be replaced. Everyone has bad games, but when you fall into a slump, you need to get out of it quick or be replaced. Explain that you are there to help with anything, whether it be about the sport, their problems, etc. Be a coach and a friend at the same time. It's a winning combination.

Coaching can be difficult to do, especially when you get a reluctant player. The above scenarios were taken from a softball point of view because that is what I coach. You can easily apply this to other sports by changing words, and can also be applied to boys. So get out there and try turning this: :-( into this: :-) Good luck!

Turn that stubborn face into this!
Turn that stubborn face into this! | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • KStro18 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from PA

      Thanks for reading and commenting! Because I work with girls, it's really important to keep these things in mind compared to if I was coaching boys. They're 2 completely different worlds; coaching boys and girls!

    • nextgoodthing profile image


      6 years ago from Miami,Fl

      Thanks for this hub and for me it touches the core!The should be the principles to apply into our lives when dealing with people ... anyway,the game analogy is wonderful!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)