Measure Your Success By Your Effort

Footwork Makes You Smarter

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kicking and Screaming

Coaches who constantly scream do so because they believe it helps make the message clear and will motivate players to improve. They believe it will make their players better. Coaches need to yell simply to be heard over the noises in a gym especially when the crowd can be the sixth man. Under pressure some players loose their focus. Instructions stated firmly in a time out, or while they are on the floor can help them focus on that task, and reduce their pressure.

It’s the content that matters most not the volume. There is a huge difference between calling out an instruction and yelling out insults, or negative comments to players. There is no excuse for berating players and not treating them with dignity. There are always other options.

It is easy to be fooled by the short-term benefits of yelling and screaming at players. But there is a law of diminishing effects with yelling, or berating. The yelling must increase, the insults/threats must become more outrageous and the language must become harsher over time to have the same effect. Ask yourself is this the way you want to conduct yourself?

Don’t tell me you haven’t seen players start to tune this type of coaching out. It has less and less meaning, because, you become a cartoon. I’ll go one further you become a buffoon. Players want to have respect for the position of coach, but become disenchanted with that type of demeaning approach even when it’s not directed at them.

Have you so poorly prepared your teams that you need to draw that type of attention back to you? Do you think your antics of loosening your tie; running up and down the floor, yelling at your bench has anything whatsoever to do with basketball or coaching? Did you not prepare your team for the game?

Think hard about how you want to present information. Don’t leave your feet versus Keep your feet. Do you think the player really doesn’t know he made a mistake when he left his feet? You can reinforce this behaviour with positive messaging and working on it in practice. Coaches find another way!

This weekend I have watched some pretty appalling behaviour from coaches.Conversely, I also witnessed some outstanding coaching and behaviour. Thanks to both groups for teaching me a lesson. Thanks for confirming what I want to continue to strive towards, and what I want to distance myself from.

"The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.”- Martin Luther King Jr

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