“If your actions inspire others to dream more,
and become more,
you are a leader.“
- John Quincy Adams -
The coach has the handball knowledge and is ready to transfer it to kids.
He introduces, maintains and adjusts dynamic of the group and learning of handball by choosing right exercises in stimulating working atmosphere.
He keeps his integrity with authentic behaviour, where he clearly and consistently expresses his stands, not imposing them to others as the only valuable and (or) right ones.
He takes decisions he considers his responsibilities and does not escape from the consequences.
He knows his areas of action and at the same time, he keeps encouraging kids to make decisions they are capable of and to take responsibilities for the consequences of those decisions.
We will try to explain that by using comparison:
Who decides if coming late is all right?
Who decides which excercises will be done?
Who decides what the general atmosphere at trainings will be?
Who decides how long will play and who in the match?
True words aren't charming,
Charming words aren't true.
Good people aren't contentious,
Contentious people aren't good.
People who know aren't learned,
Learned people don't know.
- Tao Te Ching -
Competent coach knows how wrong it is (mis)using his authority, punishments and threats in the learning process.
He does not avoid conflicts, nor he allows children or parents to diminish his personal authority, he uses arguments and precisely expresses his stands and decisions. He knows that important part of his job is showing the limits clearly.
After conflicts he is not judgemental, he does not punish nor gives moral lectures. He does not need to win because his goal is co-operation, not competition.
Instead, he reflects what in his behaviour could have led to misunderstanding and when that realises, he tries to change it.
There are days when it is difficult to conduct training.
For some reason kids come more nervous, agitated and tired than other days – we usually call that day Friday.
It is difficult for them to follow what we say, they are not focused on performing exercises and they do something else while we try to explain tactic for a next play. We can react depending on our temperament.
Some will stop talking and wait until they are quiet and attentive.
Other will shout: Quiet!
Kids will know when they crossed the line, some will get scared and others will feel sorry – that is all right. It is important for them to face our emotions.
In both cases, the message is clear: we want silence.
It is important to act authentically and; without additions.
Additions could have various forms:
Blackmail If you do not stop: ”I will send you away from the team!”
Offence: ”Everybody acts normal, only idiots never stop!”
Humiliation: ”I have told you 100 times to stop! Are you stupid, so you cannot understand?”
but also empty and sweet-talking phrases: ”Who behaves well, gets a lollipop. Be a good boy and listen to be for a bit.”
”When we offend or humiliate, results are quick: kids get scared, instantly obey and consequences of such relationship will become obvious when they grow up a bit.”
”When we mask our frustration with sweet-talking, kids do not take us seriously – messages we send are confusing.”
Competent coach does not see players in kids, makes no difference between them based on who jumps higher or passes the ball better; because emphasising one characteristic or capability (positive or negative), may have negative influence on their psychological development, especially in the early years of training handball.
”They fail to develop a relationship towards “different me”. ”
At least until they are 12 or 13, we should avoid exaggerations, a technique some coaches use to help kids building self-confidence. It will grow by learning handball techniques and winning matches, unless we do reckless things and destroy their sense of self-worth.
Coach knows that by strengthening kid’s self-confidence we do not strengthen his sense of self-worth. A child does not consider himself better only because of his capability to do something.
Those are two different things.
We will write about self-confidence here.
HOW (NOT) TO (MIS) USE PRAISES AND CRITICISM?
Every time we feel the need to show and(or) prove something to a child, we should stop and ask ourselves a question:
”Is this mine or his responsibility? ”
If we give them a right to make mistake, they will feel small failures and defeats. They will learn how to handle them.
When they succeed, success will be theirs.
When they grow older, they need to be persistent, to know how to overcome obstacles, not to get upset about criticism in the media…
”How and when a child should start learning that?”
Instead of showing how clever we are, we need to design a framework in which a child will have their own experiences and draw their own conclusions. Such learning is more powerful than any other explanations.
Most importantly: ”It is his learning.”
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