Here’s a quote from Hugh McCutcheon’s book Championship Behaviours that every coach should consider:

One of the main litmus tests is your response to failure. When you perceive failure as an opportunity for improvement, it’s probably a sign that you’re on a good path: you see your shortcomings as valuable feedback in your process of improvement and achievement. If you perceive failure as an embarrassment or a personal affront, then you should probably look more closely at why you are engaged in the activity.

I’ve commented in the past that yelling is often more about the coach than the player(s). Can you see how the perception of failure as an embarrassment or personal affront might trigger that? Or induce a coach to use punishment for errors? This is why it’s important to think more in terms of the athletes, and less in terms of ourselves.

Not that we shouldn’t think about ourselves as well, of course. Coach health – mental and physical – is important. I think you know what I mean, though.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.