The ‘Three Day Rule’ – Anecdotes

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18 - 3 day rule

The Coaching Tips that I have been compiling over the last couple of years are intended as practical tips to help coaches in their work, beyond the technical, tactical, methodological information that you can access anywhere.  Many of them come from personal experience, ie mistakes I have made.  Others come from observation of other coaches while working as an assistant or from a distance.  Others come from players.  So is the case with the ‘Three Day Rule’.

There was a team in which two of the main players had a fractious relationship that more or less held together most of the time, but had the odd blowup.  One of those blowups was in the changerooms after a particularly bad loss.  As (bad) luck would have the very next day the team had the most arduous travel to play one of the top team’s in the world just two days later.  Every person in the team boarded the plane with trepidation, wondering exactly how it would be.  Pretty bad, so it turned out.  The game, not helped by the travel or the opponent or the mood of the team, was disastrous.  The travel home no better.  However the next time the team met, one of the ‘combatants’ came to the with a huge smile on his face. During the course of the session he made an deliberate effort to make individual contact with each person in the team.  By the end of the session, the crisis was over and the team was ‘reunited’.

Another team had a large group of foreign players, with a smaller, but key, group of locals.  The captain, a foreigner, and main player, local, had a great relationship but were very different guys.  At key moments in the season it was noticeable that the local player would retreat from the larger team and take some time for himself.  Every single time he returned to the team, roughly two days later.

Being in a team requires sacrifices from every individual.  That is the definition of a team.  Human beings have ups and downs and moments of selfishness.  Great team members intuitively understand the balance.  Great coaches know how and when to manage that balance.


A collection of more Coaching Tips can be found here.


For more great coaching tips, check out the Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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