So, my mom always told me (and still does) that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything. Proven right again. A couple days ago I made a unkind joke about a baseball facility in an email that went out internally to just 60 Gamers players/families. Like they say — never put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want printed in the Wall St. Journal. Sure enough, the email got forwarded outside the Gamer group — resulting in an embarrassing situation. Not my intent. But. Mom was right.. again.
Chalk that one up to my growing list of mistakes. But, if you are not making mistakes, you are not trying hard enough.
And sometimes, you really do need to say things that are not nice. Not in an email like my recent stupid mistake. But, as a coach, a business person, a friend, negative things sometimes need to be said especially if there is a chance that it will have a positive impact. This is a real dilemma for coaches and teachers. We need to say a lot of things that are not nice. Players need you to coach them. You cannot help them unless you say things to make them better. If you stay silent and overlook things, you are simply cheating the player that wants to be coached. That is my opinion.
If a player wants to be coached, I (we) are going to coach him. That means being honest, demanding and holding him to high standards. If he wants to be coddled and told only what he wants to hear, then I am not the right coach and the Gamers is not going to be the right program. This is the topic for a whole other blog post. But, in this narrow case — of coaching — Mom is not entirely right. Sometimes, “not nice” things need to be said. Sometimes, you need to actually care.