Everybody has heard that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar right? The same rule applies when you are coaching. It is imperative that you remain positive even in the most tense and frustrating situations.
Stating positive and keeping your composure is critical whether you are coaching boys or girls and the sport is irrelevant.
I for one have coached baseball every year since my son was five years old. I have had the privilege of watching him learn the game, have success and struggle with failure. As he prepares to go into high school next year I find myself taking the rains as the manager for his last year in Little League. The excitement I have is unreal. I am looking forward to the opportunity and the challenge managing the team will present.
The last three years I have been an assistant coach. I have seen three different coaching styles and I have learned some good and bad techniques from each of the gentlemen I coached with. I find one common theme that is the most well received by the players and even noticed by the parents and fans in the stands, remaining positive.
Here is an adult example of staying positive. What if you make a mistake at work? Forgot to return a phone call or an email? Would you prefer to be criticized in a positive manner or get yelled at? Most of us would appreciate the professionalism of someone pointing out how important it is to return that call in a civil tone instead of name calling or yelling. I know I would.
Coaching is the same thing. I had the privilege of being a coach on one of the better teams I have seen last year. Half of these young men made up the All-Star team, yes they were that good. Unfortunately we had unnecessary tension because of the negativity from the manager's wife. She attended almost every practice and was at every game. One parent had one great word to describe the atmosphere, toxic.
Near the end of the season as we were one game away from playing for the district championship there was one common phrase from the players in the dugout, I'll be happy when the season is over. These young men were on the verge of playing for a championship and instead of being thrilled they were defeated because of the negativity.
Losing is a part of coaching, it is unavoidable in competition. If you coach positively the athletes will be better prepared to handle the losses and savor the wins even more.