About three years ago, my oldest son, Simon decided he wanted to play catch with me. Needless to say, I was ecstatic and attempted to enjoy our first catch. After about 10-15 throws back and forth, watching him use his left hand to throw, my mind jumped ahead to the possibility of having a left-handed pitcher in the family. As he threw with his left hand, he also stepped with his left foot. I could only bite my tongue so long. I proceeded to provide high quality coaching and feedback to him. As I returned the ball to him for another throw, my high quality feedback to him was as follows, “Simon, use the other foot.” As attentive as a three year-old can be, he took the ball in his left hand, looked at it and decided to drop the ball and kick it to me with his right foot. He did exactly as his coach had said he used his other foot.
Coaching and pushing people forward to achieve at their highest level is all about sending and receiving messages. Whether you are a coach, a parent, or a player, you are sending a message, and it is important to ensure the message you are intending to send is the one that is received.
As a coach, involve the player in allowing them to provide feedback on the message they receive. Do not be afraid to ask the player, “What did you hear me say?” or “What does that look like to you?”
As a player, do not be afraid to ask a coach, “Is this what you are asking me to do?” or “Is this the adjustment you want me to make.”
As a parent, ask your son or daughter the messages they received during practice or a game. This can easily be incorporated into the Daily Register that was discussed in last week’s message. (Click here to read last week’s post on the Daily Register.)
The more I work with teams and individuals, the more I am convinced that success is based on the connection of the individuals in a network of energy. This energy is contagious and will spread creating a larger network of energy. The connection begins with messages being exchanged in support of the development of the athlete.
Players, coaches, and parents I would love to hear your feedback on methods you have used to ensure your message is being heard and interpreted in the way you envisioned.
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