Are You Successfully Stressing Players In Practice?
Science has proven the correct doses of stress on the human body results in growth, both mentally and physically. Great coaches understand stress is a powerful facilitator to achieving human growth potential. These coaches have learned how to purposely stress a player in practice without going near the point of physical or mental break down.
Stress can be positive, triggering desirable adaptation in the body; or stress can be negative, causing grave damage and harm. The effects of stress depend almost entirely on the dose. And when applied in the right dose, stress does more than stimulate physiological adaptations. It stimulates psychological ones, too. Research has demonstrated stress, followed by rest, results in growth. Stress + Rest = Growth
What Are The Correct Doses Of Stress For Each Player?
Finding the correct doses of stress when coaching each youth player is one of the most difficult jobs as a High School Varsity Head Coach. If you push players too much, they may dislike you and you jeopardize possibly your position. If you push players too little it starves players of the opportunity to grow as players and people. These players often choke under pressure during playoffs and in crucial life moments for success.
At Volleyball1on1, we believe as youth coaches our job is not to coddle players. Our job is to prepare players for the stresses of life through being successfully prepared for big volleyball matches. We can do this as youth coaches by thoughtfully creating a stressful environment in practice that mimics the environment they will experience in a match and life.
The Difficulties of Raising Players Stress Levels
Youth coaches need to be far more cautious when stressing a player for growth because if you go too far, even with the absolute best intentions for your players, you could jeopardize your position. In addition, this generation of players can quickly struggle in how they respond to stress, the increase in helicopter / overprotective parenting, and the general more cautious approach of Athletic Directors and their Athletic Departments.
S.O.S. – Stress Output Score. ™
To help High School Varsity Head Coaches and their staff overcome challenges in successfully stressing their players for growth, we developed a special tool within our Volleyball1on1 Superior Coaching Systems ® to coach youth players and teams called S.O.S. – Stress Output Score. ™
The S.O.S. – Stress Output Score ™ is the amount from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest that a youth coach can stress a player or a team before they need to “Rest” or take a break. At the start of every Volleyball1on1 practice each player self-reports their S.O.S. ™ number from 1 to 10 for themselves and shares it with the coaching staff and team which then gets written on the whiteboard. This score can change from day to day and the coach is made aware of that score by the player as the need arises after practice starts during practice.
The team or often the “Leadership Council” also gives the team a S.O.S. – Stress Output Score ™ at the start of each practice which is written on the white board with the practice plan. The coaching staff then uses the S.O.S. ™ scores as a barometer of how hard they can train players individually or as a team that day.