Coach-isms: 10 Things Your Coach Likes to Say

Field Hockey Camps - Coaching Tips

A large part of sports is recognizing patterns and determining what to do when to benefit your team. During practice, an athlete’s burgeoning pattern-recognition abilities may surface in identifying common things a summer sports camp coach might say to energize, inspire, or command the team. Coaches may say many different things depending on the situation. Here’s some things you may frequently hear during camp practices or during games, and why a coach may say them.

#1: “Good!”

Very short, and to the point. This is something you’ll want to make your coach say frequently. This is what your coach could say to acknowledge a drill performed correctly, an exercise mastered, or a step in the day completed so that you can move on to the next task.

Ideally, a good day of practice will have your coach saying this countless times throughout the day. This is the transitional word that shows that you are making progress and are ready to practice the next drill or play.

#2: “Again!”

This will likely be the word that you tire most of hearing during a hard day’s practice. The coach will likely be saying this a lot as you perform drills and exercises. Get used to this word or a variation of it as you continually practice and refine your movements and skills.

Try not to let various repetitions of this word or something similar get to you. The coach is not implying that you’re doing a bad job or what you’re doing isn’t good. They are simply imploring you to work harder and improve upon your already considerable progress. While this word may not be as inviting as a declaration that you are done working, take it as a sign that you are moving forward, rather than backward.

#3: “Let’s Go, Let’s Go!”

This is most likely heard during the heat of a game or scrimmage. Your coach is trying to pump you up and acknowledge that you are making something happen. This is meant to get your gears turning even more and to light a fire to get you to keep moving forward.

There’s not much more exhilarating than moving the puck up the field and hearing the coach yell this. It’s being acknowledged that you are making a play, and that your effort is paying off by making big results in a game.

#4: “Keep it Up!”

This is another phrase of encouragement from your coach. You may hear it during particularly grueling drills that focus on building your endurance. You can use this phrase as a sort of indicator as to when you may be liberated from the drill and get to rest.

Coaches often throw this out when they see their athletes struggling during especially taxing exercises. This may be what they are subconsciously doing while glancing at their timer as an indication that you are almost done with the exercise. Take heart when you hear this, as you may be almost done.

#5: “Huddle Up!”

This is the indication that you need to drop what you’re doing and go listen to what your coach has to say. It may be time for a strategy meeting or just a pep talk, but this often means a respite from the hard work of practice.

Make sure to react as soon as you hear any form of this phrase, which may also simply be a whistle. Your prompt attention will stand out to a coach and let them know that practice doesn’t get you down and that you value what they say.

#6: “You’re Doing Good, but…”

You may hear this when struggling during the big game. If the coach says this during a break, listen to what they have to say. They are acknowledging that you’re trying your hardest, but they’re about to offer some wisdom on how to overcome whatever’s tripping you up out there.

This may be frustrating when compounded with a particularly difficult challenge, whether you’re constantly getting juked on the field or intercepted while trying to move up. However, try to keep calm and keep whatever your mentor says to heart, as they are trying to help you out.

#7: “Let’s Change It Up.”

This phrase, or a variation of this phrase, may appear in many different contexts. One of its main uses is to keep a team on its toes during practice, to indicate that they’re going to be trying out something new.

An athlete must always be prepared for unexpected scenarios, during practice or during games. A variation of this phrase may mean that you’re in for a new exercise or training routine, sometimes being thrown right into it. Keep an ear open and always be ready for a phrase like this, so you can show to your coach that you are truly paying attention to practice.

#8: “Don’t Get Flustered.”

A good coach can always rein in their team when negative emotions start to overflow. There is nothing more frustrating than heavily losing a game after days and days of hard practice. It may feel like your effort is being wasted.

Here, the coach is trying to help by reminding you that you’re at a sports summer camp. Your primary focus is to learn and have fun. While it may be frustrating when it feels like your effort hasn’t been enough, take the coach’s words to heart when they try to pull you out of a funk. Changing your mental state may lead to a better performance and an epic comeback.

#9: “Get Some Rest.”

This can either be said during practice or during a game when you’re being subbed. Often, this phrase comes as a huge relief, as you get to rest your weary muscles so that you can get back into the game.

Even if you feel like you can play more, take your coach’s words to heart and use the rest period to recharge as much as possible. Your team will need you in tip-top physical shape in order to prevail, and rest is an important part of an athlete’s physical training regime.

#10: “Let’s Have Some Fun Out There.”

One of the more important mindsets a coach can have for a sports summer camp. You’re here for a learning experience, to get some exercise, to bond with teammates and have fun. A coach here is emphasizing that it’s not about winning or losing (although winning certainly feels amazing), but about the experience.

Keep these words in mind when you’re out on the field. Even if you happen to lose the game, make sure that you enjoy the game as a positive moment of competition and an opportunity for growth.

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