30 second time outs

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Awards Banquets

A few ideas about the speaking portion of a teams awards banquet that I've seen done (or have
done myself).

If I remember, the team struggled a bit on the scoreboard. So take
the focus off that by avoiding the "season talk" and focus on the
other stuff.

My daughters high school coach would go to the 99¢ store and buy a
"gag gift" for every player. Maybe a box of band-aids for the player
most often injured, miniature furniture for the player who "did the little things", a roll of toilet paper for a player who was
teased about being soft, sunglasses for a youngster whose "future
was bright", etc.

My daughters most prized awards might be a rock she got as a
sophomore because they were "going to build their program on this
rock" (maybe a little sacrilegious for a Christian School) and a
toy "Warrior" she received as a junior for playing thru injuries.

Coincidentally, her college hired a new coach her senior year - and
he gave the same kind of awards and printed "Certificates" such as
"Most Likely to Commit Assault" for a girl who fouled too much, and
other similar awards.

Of course they both talked about how they improved and some good
moments on the year too.

If you want to be a bit more serious, a couple of times I've taken
Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success and said the team needed each one
of these to be successful Once we had 15 players and won a title, so
I assigned a block to each player and talked about each players
personal qualities - more than their game. Our staff was the
"mortar" on the side - Faith and Patience, and our MVP was
"Competitive Greatness".

Another year I chose to use it when we had a real young team that
didn't do so well (alot like how you described your team). That year
we had 12 players and I left off Competitive Greatness, Poise, and
Confidence.. . saying that those were the things that we needed to
develop in order to succeed.

Finally, about awards. Most suggest MVP, Hustle, and you could
maybe go with defense, or a "Coaches Award" which gives you some
leeway to make something up for that deserving player who doesn't fit into a category. Here's something for everybody to
think about. Many times I think that we spend so much time preaching
*TEAM* and the value of every player... and then at the end of the
year we say who is *Most* Valuable???

One of the best coaches I've ever coached for has had 3 of the top 4
scorers in California's Southern Section history (over 600 schools)
and doesn't ever give any individual awards at his banquets. Every
single kid gets a really nice framed photo with his locker plaque at
the bottom. All the same. Each player has equal value. even the
leading scorer in section history.

Something to be said for that.

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