There is 𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿 in coaching.
Coaches often play powerful roles in a child/youth's life.
Coaches have an 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 to:
Encourage mistakes and the value in learning from them.
I don't support the "everyone wins, everyone gets a trophy, there aren't losers" framework.
I do believe in effort, hard work, development, sportsmanship, and respect for the game.
The level of play, will determine the level of competitiveness.
I love competition. There is 𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲 in competition.
However... This is where I'll say coaches play a pivotal role. If coaches put winning above the building, growing, and integrity, they are doing themselves and their team a disservice.
Athletes will 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗲 when they are pushed to play in their greatness and ability.
When an athlete asks what they can do better, 𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗳𝘂𝗹𝗹𝘆 tell them what they can do better.
When an athlete asks what they can do to get more playing time, give them some 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 items to improve on and focus on.
Telling them they're doing great is a cop-out. You know it and they know it.
𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 is a 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗲.
Granted, how that pressure is communicated or presented can make 𝗮𝗹𝗹 the difference.
Coaches are in a position where they will have to have hard conversations.
There is a way to give correction, direction, and yes, even criticism.
This can be done by starting off with the positives, the things an athlete does well. Followed by, here's what you can work on. Ending with, this is what I believe you are capable of.
Obviously, ages of players need to be considered, along with level of competition...
Some activities are "just for fun". And that's great. Coaches, parents, and players should all be on the same page of keeping it fun.
All of my kids have played at competitive levels of soccer.
At that level, not every kid gets equal playing time. And I'm on board with that. Make them earn it. Their desire and determination and effort should be rewarded. Just as their lack of effort and desire will earn them bench time.
I said what I said.
We've taught our kids the importance of being coachable. If you think you know everything, your willingness to learn is gone. That will not work as an athlete in team sports.
I'm so very grateful for the coaches in my kids' lives who have expressed confidence and belief and have allowed for growth and improvement.