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Honoring the Game

Honor the Game

Model and teach your players to Honor the Game.

Teach the elements of ROOTS–Respect for: Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self

·         Appoint a parent to be “Culture Keeper” for the team.

·         Share with your players’ parents your desire for them to Honor the Game.

·         Drill Honoring the Game in practice.

·         Seize teachable moments to talk with players about Honoring the Game.

Help players Redefine what it means to be a “Winner” in terms of Mastery, not just the Scoreboard.

·         Teach players the ELM Tree of Mastery (Effort, Learning, and bouncing back from Mistakes).

·         Use a “Team Mistake Ritual” (like “Flushing Mistakes”) to help players quickly rebound from mistakes.

·         Reward effort, not just good outcomes. Look to recognize players for unsuccessful effort.

·         Encourage players to set “Effort Goals” that are tied to how hard they try.

·         Use Targeted Symbolic Rewards to reinforce effort and team play.

Fill your players’ Emotional Tanks.

·         Use encouragement and positive reinforcement as your primary method of motivating.

·         Strive to achieve the 5:1 “Magic Ratio” of 5 positive reinforcements to each criticism/correction.

·         Schedule “fun activities” for practices, so players will enjoy our sport.

·         Use the “Buddy System” to teach players to fill each other’s Emotional Tanks.

·         Develop “player coaches” by asking for player input and asking rather than telling them what to do

·         Learn to give “Kid-Friendly Criticism” so players will be able to hear it. Criticize in private, “Ask Permission,” use the   Criticism Sandwich; avoid giving criticism in non-teachable moments.

Have Conversations during Team Meetings with your players at every practice and every game.

·         Review Honoring the Game, the ELM Tree and the Emotional Tank throughout the season.

·         Remind players about these three concepts before and after every game.

·         Ask questions and encourage players to speak and contribute during team meetings.

·         Use the Winner’s Circle after a game to reinforce the positive things players did.


Good Luck and Have Fun!  It’s going to be an awesome season!

Contact Us

Hamilton Girls Softball Association

Christine Avenue, P.O. Box 3430
Mercerville, New Jersey 08619

Email Us: [email protected]
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