Readers of this blog (thanks!) know that I’m not one of those feel-good coaches who constantly says happy things to players even when they do not perform. I tell them the truth, they like it, they work hard, they trust me, and in general they learn and the whole thing is very rewarding.
I just had to share that at a pitcher/catcher practice today I had one kid really focus on practice. I don’t know what did it, but he locked in and at one point he threw a ball that was just good mechanics — nice clean mechanics and the ball went right to the glove of the catcher And I said in a loud voice — THAT WAS FANTASTIC —WHAT A GREAT THROW!!! And his whole body changed — everything about him just relaxed.
After practice, he asked if he could keep practicing — I said sure — and he kept working until he had to be shooed away. From the parking lot he yelled SEE YOU LATER to one of his friends on the team.
It was just heart warming and it just makes you realize that if a player does something right — its really smart to react and tell them how great they are.
The positive coaching alliance always talks about a mistake sandwich to put the negative inside of two positives. I have to say that I probably don’t do that as often as I should and today was just a great example where there was no sandwich is was just sheer positive and it was truly amazing.
Something to think about…..I think little kids probably get told what not to do a lot more than they get told they are doing something right so the negative stuff sort of bounces off of them, but I think if they know you mean it and they know they deserve it, the positive stuff is super important.