In the You might be surprised if you give them a chance post I referenced an email I received from a coach who visited the site. This was a coach who worked in a disadvantaged area. That post could potentially be interpreted as picking on that individual, so I sent them an email to make sure they knew I wasn’t specifically singling them out. Rather, the post was the result of a couple of different things coming together. The reply I got was the sort I think we all should have when presented with something potentially critical of our coaching.
Thanks for the warning!!! I may indeed have responded defensively if you hadn’t! Maybe not as I have a sense of where you are coming from – but better safe than lose someone!
And I agree with you! So many of the problems we face are direct result of low expectations of girls from parents, school, and community. And it is huge. I need to be ultra vigilant of my own expectations and message! I hear “Can’t” as “Won’t try” or “Never’. They need to hear me believe that they are capable of getting better every day. While I could say that what I really meant was we don’t do some higher leverage things well enough yet – what I said was “Can’t”. At some level that reflects a letdown in my own values. I will keep working on it!
This has unlocked a flood of thoughts about clarifying my philosophy, priorities and approach to the program. You have shown me that I am holding us back by not introducing that philosophy of play from the first time they walk through the door. Or earlier!
Far from being angry – I am very grateful for you pushing the right button!!
This sort of thing is exactly why I developed the blog and enjoy writing it. Hopefully someone like the coach I kind of picked on in this post has a similar type of reaction! 🙂
The point is, criticism can be extremely valuable to us all – at least the constructive kind. Not only should we be accepting of it, we should even consider actively seeking it out.
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