Is it Good to be a Competitive Coach?

I was recently reading an online post by a coach who was talking about trying to give court time to all the players in her team. She spent a considerable amount of time in the post trying to explain that she WAS competitive and how competitive she was. The way I read it, she was almost trying to excuse her thoughts and try to convince any reader that she wasn't crazy.

This got me thinking about how the prevailing wisdom of coaching, which is they have to be competitive. Not just competitive, but pathologically competitive. That this is a badge of honour.

This is probably true at some levels but there is a lot of evidence that this is not a good thing when coaching children. So that got me thinking - is it actually a good thing to be a competitive coach when coaching children?

Later in the day I was reading a chapter of a book by Kristoffer Henriksen. It is a really interesting look at development environments for children. My favourite quote is: "If coaches are unable to adopt a long-term perspective, instead focusing exclusively upon winning and performance outcomes, it may result in athletes’ experiencing physical and psychological harm."

That quote is a better description than just competitive/uncompetitive. Because, of course, it is not a binary. You can be competitive AND adopt a long-term perspective. But it is not easy. The easy thing is just to put on your 'best team' and ignore everyone else.


Popular Posts