Reason – Defining the “why” for our athletes takes creativity…

“Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning” C.S. Lewis


Over the past week I have talked about the power of relationships in sports. I explained the importance of getting to know player off the court. I have talked about teaching resiliency in sports. This involves encouragement, remembering the good times and going back to the overall goal. The final post in this part 3 synopsis talks about Reason. Ordinarily, we use reason as a part of our discourse on a daily basis. We must provide a reason for not arriving at work on time, a reason for not taking the trash out in the form of chore. This comes in the form of an explanation or justification for doing something.  I find that in many peoples lives, reason gives us the order to take action. Coaching edition of reason involves defining purpose.


 In coaching reason is a big part of what we do. Its how we develop our winning culture, it impacts how we play the game, it serves as a teaching lesson at times. I have to ask the tough question:

Are we really giving each athlete the “why we do the things we do on this team” in sports?

Finding the why in sports helps with player engagement,  builds competitiveness and creates an environment for learning. But it simply takes creativity to make this process fun.

It starts with the following dialogue between player and coach. Imagine this… its mid-season and you are in a conference game. Player A is not performing at a high level. With the game on the line you opt to take him out, Player gets subbed out of a game. He confused as to why he was taken out of the game.

Coach: What do you see out there?

Player: I don’t know?

Fast forward to the next day at practice. Player looks lost and the coach stops play:

Coach: What are you doing out there? You look Lost!!!


Right here is a great teaching point. How can we help this player or any player succeed at this moment? How we practice is a direct reflection of game performance.


Have we looked at how the following ideas help players find the “why”

  1. Game within a game– Teaching our players to find the game within the game is a key tactic. Players need goals, encouraging them to be competitive even in drill will create that atmosphere.
  2. Think about goals everyday– A constant reminder of team goals are essential for success, this idea reverts back to Resiliency. Remembering the goals. Have each player right down goals for the day.
  3. Visualize moments of success– Sounds crazy but there is something about visualizing what you plan to do for the day.

I hope this 3 part series gives you talking points on the road to success. Take a look at  The Website as we continue to dive into what coaching truly means for today’s athlete.   For those that purchase The Book : Light Year Dreams , Chapter 3 – Character Wins is great read for young athletes and a great talking point for coaches. With all chapters, I think using this as a talking point for further conversation is always a plus.  Contact Us is great way to get any questions answered on how to implement these best practices with your teams or coaches.  Thanks

Christopher J. Mayshack

Published by cmayshack

Light Year Dreams LLC. is a consulting firm committed to encouraging positive youth development outcomes through sports and recreation. Our goals are to work with non-profits, city governments and individual families as we train coaches, mentor youth services associates and educate families on the importance of sport and the positive outcomes associated with sports participation.

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