Addendum on Confidence and Coaches

Regular readers of the blog may remember me discussing how lucky I am to be part of a great staff at the high school where I coach.  Well, yesterday was a great example of why.  I have gotten some really interesting feedback since posting the latest blog entry on Confidence and the Role of Coaches Sunday night.  While several comments have stood out, the blog led to a great conversation with the head coach and other members of the staff where I coach baseball.

Let me preface this with saying that our head coach is someone I have known since I was 12 years old.  I played for him in high school and then returned to the area to have an opportunity to coach with him.  He has been coaching for almost thirty years and is someone I have as much respect for in baseball as anyone in the sport at any level.  Although on the surface level we may seem very different to some people, our core values of how you are successful in baseball and interest in finding the best way to do things is something that makes us about as alike as you can get.

That may have seemed a little off topic, but I feel like it is necessary to the story.  Our head coach brought up the blog yesterday, and it led to a conversation with our staff about what I meant and how different people reading the entry may perceive what I wrote.  We talked about how a parent may read it and say, "Coach Ehrlich says you are supposed to give my son confidence.  You are why my kid isn't confident!"  This is definitely not what I meant for the message to be.  Confidence is something that has many sources, and I don't think any one source can take sole responsibility.  What I wanted to get across is that players do think coaches can help develop confidence.  Not attempting to do so, in a purposeful way, is a missed opportunity to help players develop.  How coaches are able to help can take a variety of forms, and I just gave three examples of ways to aid in the development of confidence.  When it comes down to it, we as coaches cannot go up and hit for a player or make a pitch for him.  Our job is to put players in the best position to be successful, but it is ultimately up to the player to execute.  

One of the great things about sport psychology is there are many possible perspectives to take.  Something that has always intrigued me about life is that different people can have the same experience and have completely different reactions.  I enjoy that and enjoy hearing from viewpoints different than my own.  What I think is important about this addendum is the conversation it led to on our coaching staff.  We may have never had that discussion if it were not for the blog, and I am glad we did.  While I think it would be naive to think that by reading a few hundred words that you are suddenly going to become a completely different player or coach, having conversation is a major part of development.  That is somewhere we see growth as players, coaches, and people.  

Keep the feedback coming please!


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