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Bullying In Coaching Lacrosse

edited June 2013 in Coaching & Instruction

imageBullying In Coaching Lacrosse

Two recent articles have grabbed the attention of the sports world, and both tackled the subject of yelling and bullying by coaches. The two articles came to VERY different conclusions. One said that all the yelling was ineffective, and amounted to bullying. The other argued that the yelling was actually good for kids, and always has been.

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  • bsigmund90bsigmund90 Grove City, PA
    Couldn't agree more, Connor. It's all about knowing your players and how they will respond to your cues and directives. In my opinion, certain players need to "get it" every once in a while to keep their focus on the right things, and "giving it" to certain players may shut them down and hurt their pysche and development. It's all about knowing how to get the most out of each individual player and their individual psychology, as well as tempering one's demeanor for the situation and case at hand. Black and white rules like "yelling is ALWAYS abuse, no matter the circumstance" and "yelling will always work for EVERYONE" do nothing to prepare kids / young adults for the real world.

    That being said - there's certainly no need for a verbal assault on a kid's person or character - we can make the destinction between a player making a characteristically poor play outside of what the team needs him to do and a player being a poor person.

    Coaches who resort to name-calling / assaults on personal character don't seem to have it, in my opinion. But, then again, there are Coaches at the highest level who resort to it and they seem to do just fine / get the most out of their players who still respect them.
    Connor WilsonJeff Brunelle
  • Nice contrast and thoughtful comments, Connor. I tend to agree with you, as long as coaches are responsible about how they act and how they treat the kids in their care. And there is actually social psych and business/leadership research on this sort of thing, comparing–say-a Bob Knight style of leadership vs a Mike Krzyzewski. And (if I remember right) even though Bob Knight got results, the Mike Krzyzewskis of the world tend to come out ahead, and in quantifiable ways beyond just Ws and Ls or National Championships (grad rates, NBA draft picks, professional success outside of basketball, etc). Lastly, there's also research that shows pretty definitively that people who were praised/rewarded for EFFORT as kids far out-perform in life people who were praised/rewarded for ACHIEVEMENT. This goes totally against our [MY!] natural instinct to scoff at the "everyone gets a trophy!" mentality that youth sports has become. But what the research has found is that if you reward kids when they try, they'll keep trying. But if you reward kids only when they achieve, they will only do things they know they can achieve (ie., they won't try something new because they're afraid of failure). Anyways, good post!
    Connor WilsonJeff Brunelle
  • "It is how the coach interacts with each player to make sure they are reaching their potential, and becoming a better member of their team, ALL WHILE BECOMING A BETTER PERSON. It has nothing to do with yelling, or not yelling, and everything to do with nuance."

    You hit the nail on the head! Each kid/player is different and needs different approaches - I wish more coaches would recognize this and adapt.
    Connor WilsonKevin RowenJeff Brunellemoker23
  • An amazingly well written article Connor. You hit all the points perfectly and are absolutely right. Players respond to things differently when being coached, and there really is no black and white rule to coaching behavior, at least where yelling is concerned. There needs to be some kind of understanding and adaptability based on the player and situation.
    Jeff BrunelleConnor Wilson
  • My High School coach almost forced me to give up the sport. He was a big headed jerk who had favorites on the team. What was worse was that he still thought he was in high school and never grew up. From day one he despised me for no reason (other players knew it) and it was weird because I was a quiet kid. I did whatever he asked of me, but was yelled at and criticized. I decided not to play my senior year because I had given up. Luckily I found a college program where I fit in and was coached by someone who knew how to coach. Unfortunately I had to give up the game due to an injury, but I rather stop playing because of an injury rather than some jerk.
    Connor Wilsonspanishsprings52198
  • Excellent article. I've coached for over 8 years from U9- HS Varsity. Every kid is different and responds differently. I learn who the kids are that need the extra push and a little extra vocal chord strength to get the message through, some need a hand on the shoulder and direct eye contact to get the message through.
  • I am relatively new at coaching and find that yelling is not the problem technically you can yell positive things as well as negative things the problem is the content of the criticism . Things like "what are you doing you @&$##^%" are highly uncalled for I agree but we can't not tell them they are doing something wrong
  • Compliment sandwich! PCA teaches that the golden rule is a 5:1 ratio of good to bad things.
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