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Body language and facial expressions  

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coachmiket
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September 4, 2018 11:31 am  

I heard this one over the weekend....

A high school athlete has recently earned some varsity time, so they are currently a full time JV player and a part time varsity player.  The varsity coach told the player that they would like to make them a full time varsity player but sometimes the player's facial expressions when they are out of a drill or in the back of a line make it seem like they don't really care that much.  The player then asked the coach if they thought the player didn't care or want to be there and the coach said "oh no, definitely not. we see that you give 110% in drills and games."

The player was left a little confused after the conversation.  Clearly has the skills to compete at the varsity level, gives max effort.  Just has a facial expression that is apparently not intense in any way, shape or form.

How deep do you read into a player's body language and facial expressions?  I guess I've always focused on those things when looking for how player's react to certain situations. Do they let the lows impact them too much? Do they sulk when they are playing bad or are subbed out of the game?  Do they cheer on teammates? Do they only seem happy when THEY played well or can they handle not being the star even though the team won?  Those types of things.

Thoughts? Comments?


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Coach Brad
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September 4, 2018 1:03 pm  

Sounds like the poor kid has a classic case of RBF.


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MHcoach
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September 4, 2018 2:58 pm  

Sometimes when a player is a "tweener", coaches look at other things. I can tell you from experience players will work in drills, then be lost in between. This is something that could be completely on the coach, or may actually have to do with attitude. Basically it's now on the player to have a better attitude.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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CoachCalande
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September 4, 2018 3:32 pm  

Body language matters. Admin sees it, parents and fans see it, opponents see it....

MOJO    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtcRmKnRcsAGo to WWW.COACHCALANDE.COM  for Double Wing DVDs, Playbook, Drills Manuals, Practice footage and emagazines. Ask me about our new 38 special dvds!


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patriotsfatboy1
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September 4, 2018 4:37 pm  

Body language matters. Admin sees it, parents and fans see it, opponents see it....

Agreed. Teammates see it too. If you want to be a leader, you need to look like a leader.

I also tell coaches when their body language is anything but positive, it can hurt the team.


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coachmiket
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September 5, 2018 5:49 am  

Sounds like the poor kid has a classic case of RBF.

Honestly, I think it's more this than anything else.  The player goes all out, is skilled and pick things up pretty quickly.  I just think they have an expressionless face most of the time.


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coachmiket
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September 5, 2018 5:53 am  

Agreed. Teammates see it too. If you want to be a leader, you need to look like a leader.

I also tell coaches when their body language is anything but positive, it can hurt the team.

I don't think the player is doing anything negative.  They just have no emotional expression to their face sometimes.  And if we're talking leadership, from what I've seen, the player doesn't necessarily NEED to be a leader.  But their effort and performance often end up being like those of a leader.


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PSLCOACHROB
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September 5, 2018 11:07 am  

If I worried about whether a kids expression was enthusiastic enough I would probably shoot myself in the face. Show me enthusiasm through effort. I don't care if you do it with a smile, a snarl, a frown, or crying or a hysterical evil genius laugh. Just give it all you got. My first thought to this was are you effin kidding me. Now we are going to start critiquing a kids facial expression? How is that even remotely relevant? I might be concerned if he had a pouty little bitch face with his lip sticking out or if he was huffing and puffing when asked to do something but to judge him based on his expression while stand in line? Give me a break. Plus, why is a coach looking at the expression of a kid who is not in the drill? Shouldn't they be coaching the kid in the drill? Shorten the lines so there is little to no waiting and this problem goes away. Jeesh.


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patriotsfatboy1
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September 5, 2018 11:23 am  

Maybe we need a definition of "a facial expression like the kid did not care that much".  I took that to mean that he wasn't paying attention or wasn't into the drill.  If you want playing time at the V level, then show you want to be there. 

There is more to the story than we are getting IMO. 


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PSLCOACHROB
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September 5, 2018 3:27 pm  

Maybe we need a definition of "a facial expression like the kid did not care that much".  I took that to mean that he wasn't paying attention or wasn't into the drill.  If you want playing time at the V level, then show you want to be there. 

There is more to the story than we are getting IMO.

So a kid can give great effort but if the coach doesn't think the player has an expression of joy of being there then he isn't worthy of varsity? His expression while standing in line for the drill out weighs the performance of doing the actual drill? I don't know where you guys are all at but it is absolutely miserable down here. 95 degrees, 92% humidity, no breeze, fire ants, mosquitoes and no-see-ums biting you meanwhile you are in an uncomfortable set of pads making it feel much hotter than it is with sand underneath your pads rubbing you raw, covered in bruises, sore as hell, half sprained ankle which hurts but not enough for you to sit out and possibly lose your starting position, grass in your mouth piece, sweat stinging your eyes, rocks embedded in your skin, with some crazy ass coach yelling and screaming at you..... oh yeah, happy happy, joy joy. Not for nothing, but when I think back to football and wrestling practice it was fun mixed in with a whole bunch of suck.


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patriotsfatboy1
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September 5, 2018 6:19 pm  

So a kid can give great effort but if the coach doesn't think the player has an expression of joy of being there then he isn't worthy of varsity? His expression while standing in line for the drill out weighs the performance of doing the actual drill? I don't know where you guys are all at but it is absolutely miserable down here. 95 degrees, 92% humidity, no breeze, fire ants, mosquitoes and no-see-ums biting you meanwhile you are in an uncomfortable set of pads making it feel much hotter than it is with sand underneath your pads rubbing you raw, covered in bruises, sore as hell, half sprained ankle which hurts but not enough for you to sit out and possibly lose your starting position, grass in your mouth piece, sweat stinging your eyes, rocks embedded in your skin, with some crazy ass coach yelling and screaming at you..... oh yeah, happy happy, joy joy. Not for nothing, but when I think back to football and wrestling practice it was fun mixed in with a whole bunch of suck.

I said that there is more to the story based on the words used.  If kid is giving great effort in the drill but pouting in line and the coaches noticed, then maybe it is more than just that.

BTW - it is 90+ and high humidity everywhere. We have mosquitoes with West Nile and our HS team is dealing with Hand, Foot and Mouth.  Every area has their own set of fun ๐Ÿ™‚


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PSLCOACHROB
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September 6, 2018 3:11 am  

I said that there is more to the story based on the words used.  If kid is giving great effort in the drill but pouting in line and the coaches noticed, then maybe it is more than just that.

BTW - it is 90+ and high humidity everywhere. We have mosquitoes with West Nile and our HS team is dealing with Hand, Foot and Mouth.  Every area has their own set of fun ๐Ÿ™‚

I figured as much. My point is football practice can be miserable. The op didn't say he was pouting just that his facial expression said he didn't care much. Taking that at face value just makes me think wtf. I guess they need to go over facial expressions  in their player handbook or whatever so kids aren't benched for not running around with the happy helmet all practice. There very well may be more to the story but as written it is down right silly imo. As is, we don't know. Like I said, a players effort and skill level should determine playing time. If his attitude is destructive then he needs to go. Not having the right facial expression is not destructive. I really can't believe we are having this conversation. It's like the Stepford Wives or Invasion of the Body Snatchers at football practice. The most important thing to remember here is that kids that don't care don't give good effort. Why in the world would a facial expression supersede effort and performance?


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coachmiket
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September 18, 2018 10:57 am  

Really nothing more to the story than what I wrote.  The kid just has one of those blank states a lot of the time.

As an update: the player earned some varsity time and eventually a spot in the starting lineup.

As an additional update: the coach got upset about a JV player shedding some tears from frustration at practice so the coach had the entire team run sprints. During one of the sprints, the player in my original post got a little too close to a teammate, feet got tangled and said player hit the ground.  They initially feared it was a broken wrist, but xrays were negative.  Bad sprain and the freshman who had just earned a varsity starting spot will now likely miss a couple weeks.  ::)


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CoachDP
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September 18, 2018 7:31 pm  

the coach got upset about a JV player shedding some tears from frustration at practice so the coach had the entire team run sprints.

Huh?  A kid cries and the coach levies out punishment?  For the life of me, I have NEVER understood coaches who fear tears.  Some "leader," this guy....

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
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September 18, 2018 7:33 pm  

During one of the sprints, the player in my original post got a little too close to a teammate, feet got tangled and said player hit the ground.  They initially feared it was a broken wrist, but xrays were negative.  Bad sprain and the freshman who had just earned a varsity starting spot will now likely miss a couple weeks.

So the coach punishes the team for something that shouldn't warrant a punishment to anyone, and a player sprains a wrist as a result of his bogus decision?  ::)

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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