Thursday, November 15, 2018
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APPLAUD BEFORE THE OUTCOME?

THE PERFECT SHOT

Ok everyone; it is time for another round of ”YOU MAKE THE CALL”!
Here is the comment and question as it was sent to me. I will wait to give my opinion after you all send in yours… I want your original thoughts.
Here we go…
Dear Tom,
You have a pretty talented kid show up for your first practice. He has talent but is pretty raw. You work with him all season to get his footwork right and to perfect his release. You put him in situations where he starts to understand his effective range and you encourage him to take shots when he is within that range. It is now the championship game. Your team is down by one with seconds to play. The boy gets the ball within his range, he sets his feet the way you taught him and the ball rolls off his fingers just the way you want it to. When do you stand up and cheer? People think this is a silly question but I think it defines good from bad coaching. Almost every coach I have watched waits until the ball either goes in or misses. If missed, the kid looks over at the coach to see the coach holding his head in his hands. Will that kid take that shot again? Good coaches, in my opinion, cheer the shot as it’s taken. The kid did everything you taught him to do. He has put himself in the best position to succeed personally and for the team. If you are correct about everything you taught him them his shot was a good shot worthy of praise…. even if it misses. If you stand and cheer before you know whether or not the ball will go in, you are probably a good coach. If you wait until you see if he makes it, you aren’t
Joe Hass, Sioux Falls South Dakota.

So, the question here is do you celebrate the effort and the teamwork that got you to this position, or do you wait and cheer until you see the result?

Does that same thought hold true in other sports?

Let’s say the quarterback goes back to pass and finds his receiver wide open along the sideline. Just as he throws the football, do you stand up and cheer for the quarterback for his nice throw, a perfectly spinning spiral? What about applauding the receiver before he even catches the ball because he made such a nice move to get himself so wide open?

Again, what you are doing is reinforcing the effort and the obvious hard work that got him to the point of having good and proper mechanics to release a nice pass. Or is that pre-mature?

Should you wait until the ball finds its way to the basket for the game winning points?

Should you hold off on the applause until after the wide receiver catches the ball and then goes on to make the game-winning touchdown?

Let’s move to the classroom. Can we apply the same principles here?

As the 4th grade teacher, do you honor and praise the student for turning in the math test before it gets graded? Why not, didn’t he work hard at getting a 100%?

But, in doing so, do we take away the “thrill of victory”? Would this feel like we are patronizing the kids?

You can visualize how this would look in a soccer game; the kid gets himself in the right position to kick in the winning goal and just as he kicks the ball the crowd erupts with gratitude and encouragement speaking volumes about his effort and not about the win or loss.

If he misses the shot, drops the pass, or misses the game-winning goal, do you run on the field and pick him up and carry him on your shoulders in the most fun celebratory fashion because of the effort and hours of hard practice that created that moment?

Ok, maybe a little over done, but fun to think about and examine nonetheless.

So, what do you think?

YOU MAKE THE CALL!!!

Send me your thoughts: tomkuyper@kidsandsports.com. I will send out the final results soon!

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