Constructive or stonewalled? Direct or sugar coat?

Coaching seems to be something that can’t be done wrong, right, worse, or better. There are simply ways. I have yet to come across two like individuals that respond to the exact same coaching tactic(s). Sure, it can be frustrating and, hard to say, annoying. Just like any word has a synonym or an antonym, we can name coaching traits that are opposites and paint a picture.

nice, stern, intense, polite, direct, sympathetic, diplomatic, constructive

mean, jerk, frustrated, tight-fisted, bitter, expecting, stonewalled

Only problem is those traits paint an unclear picture. Depending on the athlete, I’d be completely content with coming across tight-fisted and expecting. I left off plenty of words we could use to describe a coach, but that’s beside the point. I think it boils down to responsibility. We have an obligation to our athletes to service them the best way possible, and that begins at a different vantage point for everyone. Some will respond well to being nice and sugar-coating criteria while others respond well to shit-talking and egging on.

How do you assess and approach your athletes to get the most out of them?

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