To promote the sport of lacrosse in the town of Somers, Connecticut, to advance the interest in lacrosse and to encourage sportsmanlike behavior.

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All coaches reward players who make the play. It sounds crazy, but to maximize team effort, reward players who try hard but fail to make the play.


When a player makes the play and is cheered by her coach, she will tend to assume her coach is happy about the outcome, even if the coach stresses the effort involved. So look for great efforts that aren't successful!

This tool can transform your own negativity when a player fails to make a play. A coach who understands the power of this tool for building a team of gritty, relentless players will be less disappointed at failure because he will see it as an ideal teachable moment to strengthen his team's habit of effort.

Opportunities to reinforce unsuccessful effort abound in every sport. Find ways to incorporate this tool into yours today!


adapted from The Power of Double-Goal Coaching by Jim Thompson