Criticism vs. Coaching

By Ken Spangenberg 1 year agoNo Comments
So I was at a family party this past weekend (not mine though so it was mostly made up of soccer players, but let’s not hold that against them) and a lively discussion started up because one of the travel coaches was giving out “report cards” to their players ranking their skills, attitude, etc. Despite it being a favorable report, this set of parents were debating not showing their son his report card so he didn’t see the negative parts of it. 
Now for those of you that don’t personally know me, I am 100% not the type of person to insert my opinions into conversations like this. However, if I’m asked, I’m going to tell you what I think. So you guessed it…they inventively look at me, sitting quietly at the end of the table, and ask what I thought…busted. 
I said share it. 100% without a doubt share it and share everything. One of the biggest issues when coaching someone, is when they see “negative” feedback as an attack. When in fact, it’s quite the opposite…it’s coaching!
PARENTS-One of the biggest issues I see in sports today is that parents try and shelter their kids from failure. But guess what guys? No matter how hard you fight to keep it all sun shines and rainbows, failure will happen. So instead of trying to protect them from failure, WE (yes we’re a team here) need to teach them out to deal with it. How to overcome it. And most importantly, how to respond to it.
PLAYERS-Being open and receptive to coaching will change your career. Being closed off to it, will cause it to end earlier than it should have. If a coach is telling you that you need to get better at X, Y, and Z that means they CARE about you. They are trying to help you! When a coach stops telling you what you should be working on…that’s when you should worry.
Be open to feedback. Seek out coaches who empower you with the TRUTH and not coaches who just tell you how much of a “stud” you are. That doesn’t make you better. Embrace a challenge. Know that failure will happen, but you’re tough enough both mentally and physically to come out better because of it. Be obsessed.
Ken Spangenberg
Director of Teams
Maplezone Sports Institute
  Athletic Training, Baseball, Wellness
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