Nobody enjoys criticism. Criticism is inevitable. Sometimes, we deserve it.
In his MasterClass, Goosebumps author R.L. Stine shares his best (five-star, Amazon) review. "The packaging was really good. It was very easy to open." He also discloses his editor's (his wife) worst review, two words scrawled on his manuscript,
Thomas Keller informs the value of criticism within The Disciplines of Success. If a customer is unhappy, he asks rhetorically, "how can we improve their experience?" Have we adhered to our values of organization, efficiency, constructive criticism, repetition, habit, and teamwork?
Criticism impacts us contingent on both delivery and receipt. Return to the THINK acronym - true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, kind. "You stink" might be true and necessary but fails helpful, inspiring, and kind. "Let's earn a championship by avoiding the traffic or getting great shots" advances our mission better.
My coach, Sonny Lane, said, "if I stop yelling at you, then I've given up on you. I don't think you can become a player." That provided useful framing. If we couldn't embrace coaching, we couldn't succeed. If we want players to "run through the wall," then they have to buy in.
Coach Wooden discussed the "sandwich technique of placing criticism" between praise. Elite teaching texts discuss the Wooden method...M+, M-, M+. Wooden's players responded because they didn't feel that the criticism was personal and believed it positive.
Establish standards. If you don't know expectations, then sticking to them is impossible. We can't demand that you make eighty percent of free throws taken. But we can expect that ball pressure means closely guarding, "nose on the chest." Kevin Eastman would say, "do it harder, do it better, change personnel, and "$%&# it ain't working" (do something different).
Separate process from results while being specific. "Stop fouling bad shots." Players don't always know what we mean. "But you told us to challenge every shot." "Make them earn it. Don't foul baseline floaters, hope threes, flyaways, and late shot clock prayers."
Be solution focused. Yelling to express our frustration or vent emotion doesn't create solutions. That's not saying that Del Harris' level five communication (Go nuts) doesn't have a role, rarely.
Know that everyone takes coaching differently. Anson Dorrance (The Vision of a Champion) believes that women respond better to positive coaching and positive video than negative. 21 of 31 National Championships in Women's Soccer argue that he's doing a lot right.
Separate criticism of the person versus correcting an action. A bad play doesn't establish a bad player or a worthless person. Would you work hard for a leader who called you worthless? How does it feel to be coached by me?
A local sports commentator said of Connecticut's 100 plus game win streak (a few years ago), "it doesn't matter, they're playing women." Coach Auriemma recognized that strong women empower us all. When we exhibit sexist behavior, we devalue ourselves and expose our weakness and prejudice, not someone else's. Greatness never arises from prejudice.
Two-time #NBA MVP and father of two daughters Stephen Curry has made it a mission to support girls' basketball. For one afternoon, he ensured 200 girls had a chance to try to be a little bit like him.— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) August 16, 2018
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