For the first time in my baseball career, I’ve been able to sit back and actually watch a lot of baseball this year instead of actually being on the field or in the cage. It’s a much different perspective and it has definitely been helpful in my maturation as a coach to be able to experience the game from a new point of view.
My biggest take away from this different angle is how players react to being coached. Some players see it as a positive and some see it as a negative.
Care to guess how the elite player sees it? Hmmmm…
Negative Feedback is NOT Failure
So many players (and people in general) see negative feedback as an attack, as a fact that cannot be changed, as someone telling them that they suck and there’s nothing they can do about it. When in reality, it’s completely the opposite (check out Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset-game changer!). Learning about our deficiencies and craving feedback is what separates the bad, the good, and the elite.
The best players I have ever worked with or read about (Mike Trout, Michael Jordan, and Peyton Manning are very outspoken about how much they love being coached…solid list right?) want to know what they did wrong so they can do it better next time.
They don’t need to hear how good they are because they already know! They are confident enough in themselves that the negative feedback they receive is nothing more than an indicator that they need to focus more on that specific skill.
The elite player doesn’t take it personally. He absorb the information and moves on. “Oh I’m not good at that? I didn’t know. Well, just watch coach, I WILL be.” is their inner monologue.
The average player slumps their shoulders, ignore it, or give the old “yeah, but coach…” when they are given negative feedback. Their inner monologue greatly differs from the elite player, in that he’s thinking, “this guy hates me”, “I suck”, “he doesn’t know what he’s talking about”, or “he’s an a-hole”.
The elite player knows that failure isn’t permanent! It’s all in HIS control, he is CONFIDENT enough in himself, and DRIVEN enough to change it.
Buying into the “growth” mindset will change your career. Making an out will no longer be a negative thing…it’s simply feedback. Hearing something critical about your game will no longer be an insult…it’s simply feedback. Not getting a D1 scholarship will no longer be career ending…it’s simply feedback.
So next time a coach COACHES you, don’t take it as an insult. It’s actually quite the opposite…he cares enough about you to tell you the truth.
Seek out the honest truth. Absorb it. Make an adjustment. Then do it again.
Director of Teams
Maplezone Sports Institute