There has been a lot written about timeouts recently, based on analysis done on their effectiveness. There are two consistent themes from this:
- any research into timeouts from any sport indicates they have the same impact as if a timeout was not called
- all coaches think that the research might be true for other levels but it doesn't work for theirs!
Regardless of what you think about the value of timeouts, they are an important part of the game. here are my suggestions for how to manage your time:
- Use the first half of the timeout to put your thoughts together. Don't say what is at the front of your mind immediately.
- Let the players sit down and relax. Have a drink. Chat amongst themselves if they want.
- Tell them something good that they have been doing. This will get their attention.
- Tell them something you want them to do immediately after leaving the timeout. This should be the last thing they hear.
If you calmly do this, you will fill up the time and have them leave the timeout with something immediately useful.