Rule #8: Baby a loser; Beat on a winner

Rule #8 – Baby a loser; Beat on a winner.

Here’s another one from Gary Kent. (See Rule #4: You can’t soar with the eagles if you’re hanging with the turkeys.) It can be helpful to coaches, parents, teachers, supervisors or pretty much anyone in any kind of leadership role.

Back when I was a young coach, I found myself working with a talented group of lacrosse players on a losing streak. Tortured with anguish, I took it out on the kids. I railed on them about lack of hustle, lack of desire, lack of killer instinct, and any other “lack” that came to mind. Gary was working with me as my assistant coach. (As an aside, Gary would coach anything and anyone at any level. While football and wrestling were his domains – He was inducted into the Maine Wrestling Hall of Fame. – he was one of those guys who just had to be out on the field. So, he helped me out even though he admittedly didn’t know much about lacrosse. I was glad to have him because he knew a lot more about winning and character development through athletics than I did.)

After I had sent the kids to the showers following one of my harangues, Gary pulled me aside and observed, “Baby a loser & beat on a winner.” Perplexed, I asked for an explanation.

He replied, “When your team is losing, praise their efforts and tell them you believe in them. When their winning, tell them they’re slacking off and will undoubtedly get creamed by the next team on the schedule.”

It dawned on that my approach had been the exact opposite of what he was recommending. So I tried it his way. It not only brought about a dramatic change in my coaching style, it worked. Give it a try.

Onward, Malcolm Gauld