We all want to be the best we can be. Feedback is a necessary tool to create improvement. You should communicate it appropriately and adequately to be effective for your players to be receptive. Many different personalities and skills on teams can make this challenging. Giving feedback is not simply planting a seed to grow a tree. It is a nurturing response that must lead to a better outcome. Negative feedback is intimidating and causes a player to be afraid, and they will hide their fear. Sports psychologists have found that athletes respond very poorly to negative feedback, inhibiting and hampering their performance.
What is Positive Feedback?
There are a few ways to use positive feedback. The first way is by recognizing a player’s strengths and achievements after making a play—for example, a good tackle or a nice pass. Accolades at the time maintain the players’ effort and confidence. The second way is when correcting mistakes or errors. Providing positive instruction is the best way for the player to play better and rectify their mistake quickly and keep them motivated. Mistakes and errors are already hard enough for the player to accept when made. They don’t need added stress or intensity to the effect. Being negative with mistakes and errors only makes the emotional hole deeper. Positivity keeps their mind open and receptive, whereas negativity closes it and creates avoidance.
- Recognize the play made by your players makes them play harder, more confidant, and more motivated.
- Engage your players. They are more open to positive feedback for correction than negative. Being positive is the best thing for a player and the team because it creates a continual process to be better. Negative feedback leads your players to get angry and frustrated and can lead to misconduct during the game and practice. Why be harmful? There are too many side effects that will create distance between you, your players, and the team.
- Inspire your players, enhance their motivation, spark their curiosity, boost their confidence, and show them you care about them better. This increases a player’s performance. Positive feedback improves, and negative feedback devalues.
How To Deliver Positive Feedback
Give positive feedback as soon as you can during the game and practice. For example, after the play, “great tackle, nice shot, or good play” occurs during the game. Associate the positive action to the athletes’ result. This reinforces their skills on the field during the game. Or, after the game, “Great job on the field today! You played great on the field and made some great plays”.
When a mistake is made, be specific as possible at practice or after the game to help the player understand the mistake. This way, you will be correcting them without creating fear. For example, “Great job on the field today! You played great and made some great plays. However, you need to work and prepare a little more on your defense at practice. Excellent game today”.
Avoid giving positive feedback in a demeaning way. Be excited and motivated. Players learn best through the excitement of their voice and behavior. They will also interact highly with you because it creates feelings of motivation.
Being Positive Has More Power Than Being Negative
It creates a better emotional state to absorb feedback. As the coach, you are in a unique position to provide positive feedback. Think about how you need to do it and how you want to present it. You create the environment, motivation, and morale of the team. And, this is important to learning and playing. Being positive helps players learn from their mistakes, errors, and failures, and they are more willing to correct them. At the same time, negative feedback does precisely the opposite. It puts more stress on the player, fear of making a mistake in their head, and making another mistake. Many coaches use negative feedback as a means to toughen up the players. This is not effective. Being negative or hard on a player for making a mistake does not make them more intense to learn to be a better athlete. It creates fear and stress that makes the player disengage.