Players who really want to improve on their sports' teams often seek outside instruction to improve skills. This is a productive attempt at improvement. However, sometimes players feel the training is not appropriate. Alyssa Dawson from Westwood, NJ, has been to many different trainers and practices and says she is disappointed when she does not feel she is working on a weakness or improving as a result of the training.
There is one strategy that can help players to focus on what they need to improve to become better. Players can ask their current coaches the following question, “If I left your team and played against you, what would you do to defend me?” The player should also ask, “While I am on defense, what kind of moves would you tell an offensive player to do in order to score on me?” When the player finds out the information, that player can work on those skills. Improving weaknesses will make that player an overall better player.
Additionally, the coach can use this as an evaluation to improve the team as a whole. When the coach details for the player what the other team could take advantage of, the coach can help the player to improve in these areas. If there is limited practice time, the coach can take less of a proactive approach by hiding the player's weaknesses instead. For example, if the sport is basketball and the player is a weak ball handler, the coach can place the player in positions where there is not a lot of dribbling required. This is never a substitute for improving skills, but it may be a viable solution until the player's skills are improved.