It’s an easy term to throw around, but in a generation filled with bulging egos and self-interest, a positive attitude — toward others and your team — is critically important in choosing an athlete for a high-level team.
What are tell-tale signs of a good or bad attitude in a young athlete?
Does the player listen, or does he/she slough off input from coaches?
Does the player have a strong work ethic all over the field?
Does he/she have the ability to self-reflect, and to really look at themselves in the mirror and see when they are not performing the way they should?
Does the player work out independently without being prompted?
Does the individual accept constructive criticism?
Does the player work on their shortcomings, or only focus on the things they like to do or are good at?
As a coach, you can fill in the blanks with many other attributes relating to the importance of attitude.
In short, you want the player who will play a role when needed, accept the non-glory jobs, and play (as much as is reasonable to expect of a young athlete) for the team more than simply for scoring goals or their own egos.
Michael Langlois Founder of Prospect Communications Inc., is the author of the eBook, ‘A Guide to Effective Communication for Youth Soccer Coaches’, available on Amazon and Apple iTunes. Prospect’s web site is located at http://www.prospectcommunications.com