Measure Your Success By Your Effort

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Coach By Consequence

Coaching by Consequence, it is not for everybody but just consider the following.

Turn on any game, and you will see Coaches parading up and down the sidelines, leaving their designated boxes, throwing clipboards, chairs, swearing, shouting at players, shouting at Refers. We see this behaviour at all levels of competition. We see very successful Coaches displaying this behaviour. Is it any wonder that this trickles down to youth levels? Where are the mentors?
What does any of this type of behaviour have to do with coaching? You are not coaching when you are acting in this manner. Personally if the opposing Coach is acting in this way, I think I have an advantage. He is no longer coaching, and I will take advantage of that. I never think, “hey he is getting an edge up on me with the Refs and he’ll get all the good calls”, quite the opposite. You are not putting yourself in a good light with parents, referees or players You are simply not setting an example Do you actually think Refs don’t log that type of behaviour? Do you think it won’t have an effect on the game? Referees are people they are influenced by their emotions. Why do you think we have phrases like “the make up call”. Think about the amount of energy goes into this behaviour and the percent of times you get the expected result (the elusive call reversal). More often the flamboyant complaints end up in a call against you. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein
The bulk of coaching happens in practice. That is where you prepare your students/players for the exam/game. That is where you teach skills. That is where you teach behaviour. That is where you teach your systems. That is where you give life lessons. That is where you become an example and mentor to your players.
I see a strong parallel between coaching and teaching. I also see a strong parallel between coaching and parenting. In a picture perfect world we want a Coach to present the best knowledge he or she can about the game in an exciting or interesting way so that the players are sparked to learn. Is this not the job of a teacher? You want them to know their material, and to make it interesting. In the end, it’s the player that has to do the learning, but you can change the learning curve by knowing your material and presenting it in an enthusiastic way. You would also want to know where the boundaries are for behaviour and what the expectation for performance is. Is this not the job of a parent?
Be clear about what is expected. Have rules for performance and behaviour. Do you want to be the Coach that is always screaming or the Coach that motivates by making players want to learn? Have a consequence when they break a rule. I’ve always used a rule for being late for practice. I like to know ahead of time if you will be late but regardless of the reason you must buy your way into practice. Depending on the age, the buy-in is adjusted. An example would be 30 push-ups, 30 sit-ups and 3 minutes on the jump-rope. No yelling, no screaming, just a natural consequence for being late. It’s been my experience there is no fuss about it either. They just do it. I don’t mind players talking in drills, matter of fact I encourage them cheering each other on, but you must not talk when I’m talking. When I’m talking I’m teaching. You can’t learn if you are talking while I’m teaching. Consequence for breaking the rule can be as simple as sitting out of the drill. If the kid is a player, he won’t want to sit out. For more Rules for games, practices and floor time click here

When you coach by consequence you have to be willing to removing the safety net. A fall and get-back-up experience can be a helpful tool in a player’s / person’s development. Self realization learning may take longer, but it is always more powerful. All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.
-Sir Winston Churchill
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Don’t accuse me of being Pollyanna. I’m not so na├»ve that I don’t understand that there is big money on the line, and jobs at stake. I understand the immediate effect that screaming and shouting can have. But the law of dimensioning returns dictates that this behaviour must be amplified each time to stay effective. Why do we have one expectation of behaviour for a teacher in a classroom, and when that same teacher moves to a different room in the school, the gym, we accept a different set of behaviours. Best run class I ever saw when my children were in elementary school was from a young petite teacher. She set out the rules early. She wrote them on the board, and soon as one was broken she pointed to them and placed a checkmark against the rule that was broken. Second checkmark there was a consequence. When walking through the halls of that school, that class was always well behaved and the students were happy and in a frame of mind to learn. Other classes looked like chaos, with yelling a little control.

Coach Paul

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