Fear of failure

May 11, 2011, 12 a.m. (ET)

“The team that makes the most mistakes will probably win,” wrote the legendary basketball coach John Wooden in They Call Me Coach. “The doer makes mistakes, and I wanted doers on my team—players who made things happen.”

That can be an incredibly difficult concept for a Responsible Coach to convey to youth players. By the time they are on your team, some players may have been yelled at for making mistakes. Even if not, they may be so self-conscious or hard on themselves for failing to make plays that they stop really trying.

For example, you might see your players hesitate to finish plays that you look as routine or makeable. You can practically see the thought bubble: “If I don’t get too close, maybe it won’t reallylook like an error on my part.”

Continue reading for examples on how to apply this to your team >>

In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports ProgramTM (ResponsibleSports.com) powered by Positive Coaching Alliance (http://www.positivecoach.org).