WISDOM WEDNESDAYS

             
       Destructive Coaches?
      

       Is there such a thing as ‘destructive’ coaches? Or, let me rephrase the
       question, Should there be such a thing as destructive coaches? Either question
       leaves a lot of confusion for the reader because when we think of coaches, we
       keep thinking of them as positive, mentoring types of persons who are
       supposed to keep us encouraged to be the best that we can be. A coach ‘should
       be’ someone who is inspiring us to excel, no matter what. But is that always the
       case?
      
       This blog is a difficult one to write in many ways because we don’t want to
       talk openly and honestly about negative relationships with anyone in our. But
       negative relationships DO exist. After all, negative relationships can develop
       with our spouses, close friends, and even siblings. So, why not with our coach
       as well? They are human after all.
      
       I sometimes watch sports coaches training the players on television. They
       talk about the players that they coach in less than positive terms. Sometimes,
       they have the nerve to scream at the players and sometimes even call them
       stupid in front of millions of people. Isn’t that a form of bullying? Sometimes I
       am left to think that the coaches need more help than the players. The players
       may need help in becoming the best possible players. But coaches need to learn
       how to be tactful and kind to their players, and to encourage them to be the
       best that they can be without being condescending.
      
       Some writing coaches have similar problems as sports coaches when it
       comes to giving tactful and graceful feedback on their work. They believe that
       they have to be negatively forceful in order to make sure that the novices learn
       the tricks of the trade and apply them to their articles and stories. But is this
       kind of mean-spiritedness necessary? Writers may lack the necessary skills to
       be good writers, but that should not be an open invitation for coaches to take
       advantage of their lack of expertise by pouncing them as a cat would on prey,
       is it?
      
       Destructive coaches exist, both in sports and in other professions, such as
       writing. But isn’t the idea of a ‘destructive coach’ an oxymoron? A coach is
       someone who is supposed to be there to help and build up the novice but not
       be destructive and possibly destroy a novice’s spirit.
      
       Some coaches must somehow believe it is okay to step outside the proper
       bounds of appropriateness when it comes to helping the novices to become
       better at their trade. I think I have left enough food for thought in this
       reflection. This is an important topic to think about.  You may even want to
       take some time and journal about this topic.
      
       ~ Irene

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