What are two of the main reasons a coach calls time out at the end of a half or game? Usually because his team is either winning or losing. Being on the winning side of anything is fun and energizing, so the team is usually amp’d up and ready to celebrate. If they have an insurmountable lead, the bench is cleared and the substitutes get to finish the game. The point is, the coach voluntarily calls timeout to retain focus and maintain order.
What about when the team is losing? Think about the last seconds of any event: A team is down by one goal with a minute left and they have to take the ball the length of the playing surface to get in range to score. The problem is, their opponent has possession. How is the mindset of the losing coach different than the one who’s winning?
Pressure and panic are driving intense planning strategies in a 30-to 60-second huddle. Even though the game is 60 or more minutes long, the outcome is dependent on executing this game plan created on a hand held white board, likely because the coaches failed to accurately anticipate how the game would evolve. The intensity of this discussion is directly correlated to the enormity of the upset that is on the verge of happening.
How do YOU feel today, Coach?