The question put to me by a friend was essentially – what can she do to ask her daughter’s primary school coach to be less harsh and loud?
The primary school softball team had started holiday training in preparation for next year. She observed that the coach tends to yell at the kids when they make mistakes, as a result they tend to be very tentative when they play. Her daughter tends to “freeze out” especially when it’s her turn to bat.
She has since spoken to the teacher-in-charge but the coach’s behavior has not changed. Quitting the team wasn’t an option either – her daughter is keen to stick with her friends and compete next year.
So what are her option? Here’s what I suggested…
- She’s got to instill in her daughter that it’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process and you will not improve if you do not make mistakes.
- She has to stop worrying about the coach and what the coach will do if she made some mistakes or screws up her batting. Get her to be aware and understand that it is a big distraction that causes undue pressure.
- Help her to identify the performance cues that she could re-focus on, and perceive her coach’s shouting as an opportunity to practice how to refocus.
Not sure if that will work out for her though….will wait and see…
Meanwhile, I reckon this whole episode is a good reminder for us coaches to be more conscious about our temperament and how it would affect the athletes adversely!