What does your generation need to effectively receive the messages that coaches are communicating?
Author’s note: I was impressed with how spot on athletes were in their self-assessment in what I view as areas where they can improve.
1 in 2 athletes discussed handling criticism
- “Be able to accept constructive criticism and be able to change. I think in today’s day and age people aren’t able to handle constructive criticism.”
- “I feel like my generation is sensitive to constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is only trying to make you a better athlete, not to offend you.”
- “Be more open to critiquing. It seems like people my age get offended by criticism rather than change in a positive way because of this constructive criticism.”
An important element of this is not taking the criticism to heart and developing thick skin:
- “Listen to what our coaches are saying. A lot of athletes take what people tell them to heart right away without even listening to what they are being told. I think if we listened better before automatically getting upset, we would be able to connect to our coaches better.”
- “Stop listening to how the message is being presented and listen to the words being said.”
1 in 3 athletes mentioned listening
- “Learn how to listen. All too often, during a conversation, we are just thinking about what we are going to say next or how we are going to react, rather than really taking the time to interpret what our coaches are saying. Many of us go into meetings with our coaches with an entire mental script of what we are going to say to our coaches and just focus on not forgetting anything we want to say. We do not, however, plan for what our coaches may say back.”
- “Open our ears and minds to try new possibilities and understand we don’t know everything. If we were to stop and listen, we could learn a thing or two.”
- “Be able to take information our coaches communicate to us and translate it into our game. This is important because some kids my age ignore information given to us by adults.”
An part of this could be trusting the coach’s intentions:
- “We need to trust that our coach will do the right thing for us.”
- “We need to realize coaches are only trying to help.”
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