1. Eliminate sarcasm from your delivery style – do not make fun of or embarrass your players. Sarcasm and public displays of criticism are negative. Negativity breeds anger, resentment, and frustration. These emotions and feelings create stress which can lead to injury, illness, and defeat not to mention players, particularly young athletes, never wanting to play sports again. Give your players positive feedback on what they are doing well.
2. Focus on the process – take the focus off of winning or losing. Focusing on the outcome creates a tense, uncomfortable, and ineffective environment. Focus on the moment. The most important point, or shot, or play is the next one.
3. Stop negative interactions – players that respond to negative coaching may not allow themselves to win. When players have been reinforced with negative feedback, they may lose just so they can continue to receive negative feedback from the coach. It is a vicious cycle. Break the negative cycle. Get your players to respond to positive feedback.
4. Look for players who can accept positive feedback and compliments. Individuals who accept positive feedback and are able to say thank you after receiving a compliment are more likely to perform when it counts. Teach your players to accept accolades.
5. Act calm and confident. Have a calm tone of voice, speak softer and slower, and smile. What you say and how you say it will either make your players stronger and self confident or weaker and fearful. Take a look at your coaching style. Commit to being a positive, calm, caring, and confident coach.
These five tips will help you create teams that have more fun, learn more easily, and win more often.
Anne Smith, Ph.D. Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved.