Why When and How Responsible Coaches Correct Players

By David Jacobson | July 06, 2011, 12:19 p.m. (ET)
A common misconception about Responsible Coaching is that it is soft on players. Coaching methods such as giving players a "Magic Ratio" of five specific, truthful praises for each specific, constructive correction certainly contrast with the archetypal, growling, my-way-or-the-highway, win-at-all-cost coach.

But Responsible Coaching is not soft. It is every coach's job to help players improve, especially Responsible Coaches, who also strive to teach players life lessons through sports and therefore must carry extra credibility on the playing field. After all, players who do not think their coaches can help them improve their games may tune out and miss their coaches' life lessons, too.

To be effective, Responsible Coaches must know when and how to correct players. In fact, the "Magic Ratio" works not because it helps youth athletes feel good about themselves, but because that good feeling keeps players open and receptive to the necessary corrections.

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In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports ProgramTM (ResponsibleSports.com) powered by Positive Coaching Alliance (http://www.positivecoach.org).