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Criticism - Positive
and Negative Comments

What is Criticism?
         It isn't necessarily the words that are positive or negative, but our interpretation of what was said. Many individual stop listening after they determine the speaker is directing negative comments towards them.

        Criticism is the judgment made by others after analyzing and evaluating the persons work or merits and demerits. It is their expression of approval or disapproval of the persons work and can be negative, neutral, or positive. This can be expressed as a Likert Scale of 1 through 9 with 5 being neutral, 1 being low, and 9 being high. This allows multiple evaluations to be combined and averaged.

        When you learn about your faults and weakness, you have been provided with an opportunity to attempt to correct your negatives attributes and thus reinventing your new and improved self. You should be thankful that anyone is willing to take the time and expend the energy to say something that might risk their friendship with you.  Many people will take the easy road and opt not to said anything after you have messed up.

Learning from Positive and Negative Comments
The source of comments is extremely important. If the person generally makes negative statements there is good reason to discard their comments. If the person is someone who you respect, then take their comments not as being negative, but as something that you should consider as requiring your attention to make necessary changes to counter their comments so the statements will no longer be valid.

        There usually is one preferred technique to perform specific physical and mental skills. It is necessary for an instructor to list the way they a skill set should be performed.  Beginners frequently may feel they would prefer to do it "Their Way"; however, the experience of the instructor warrants that as a student, you should first perform the skill as requested. Your cooperation will largely determine if you exhaust the patience of the instructor or if they are supportive of your unsuccessful attempts. 

        Our attitude can place a role in how others react to us. The choice of words can have negative or positive connotations. For example "unsuccessful attempts" might become "failed attempts. 

        When handling Negative Criticism, it is YOUR Choice of how you handle the situation. Even if the person is trying to help you, it doesn't feel good to receive negative criticism. It is especially important to not be defensive when someone points out that you made a mistake or did not approve of something you did.

        You can make an effort to control of your attitude. Rather that putting on your unhappy face, use criticism to change. By becoming a better person you will be happier and much easier to get along with in all of your interpersonal relationships. Take what might be a negative event for most individuals and turned it into a positive opportunity to reinvent yourself.  Take lemons and make lemon aid.

        Most critics are your benefactors and they will continue helping you if you acknowledge their role in helping you improve.

Fair and Objective Criticism
       The goals of coaches in sports at all levels (Pop Warner Football, Jr. and varsity High School and College) should be to bring out the best in every athlete. This can be accomplished by identifying their needs and developing a training plan that can be implemented within existing financial and practice constrains.

       Whatever the context, coaching involves developing the participants' physical and psychological fitness and providing the best possible practice conditions to maximize their chances of performing up to the best of their ability.

       It is not the comments so much as the manner and tone in which the coach makes the statements. Some comments can be made in from of team mates and other should be reserved for a private one on one situation because of the personal nature.

       Comments about being tardy, talking when individual should be paying attention, or an attitude displaying no enthusiasm would seem to be appropriate for a public comment if the behavior is in character of the athlete. 

       If the behavior is totally out of character, wait for a private moment to discuss your concerns. There may be serious family, school, or work relationships. Of course it may be the typical teenage boy/girl problems, common sibling interactions, or the typical conflicts that associated with one or both parents.

Our Reaction or Response
       Everyone appreciates the positive things that are said to us  and about us. However, when we perceive comments as negative criticism, we react differently and usually very strongly. A typical response to a negative comment can run the gamete from being defensive, taking the offensive, or of complete indifference.

      Negative comments can be constructive if it allows enough time for us as a coach or athlete to correct a major problem before the final competition of the season. The same comments a day before the competition doesn't allow enough time to make major corrections. The end result may be to fire up the athlete or totally destroy their self image.

      Trained critics are actually your benefactors by analyzing and evaluating an individual or team performance. They generally see you infrequently and thus changes are more readily apparent. If you trust and respect their knowledge, they can be an important source that helps an athlete to improve even slight faults that can make a difference in placements in competitions.

      No matter how great we believe something to be, there can easily be a series of problems that a coach or athlete can overlook or ignore because of over familiarity. By confronting and dealing with the criticism it is possible to solve the problem and increase the possibility of achieving success.

Recommended Reading:

Teaching Your Kids How to Process Criticism   Criticisms are positive feedback; they tell us what we can improve on. This article provides parents with tips on how they can help their kids cope with criticism.

Curriculum theory and practice  Another way of looking at curriculum theory and practice. Principles for the development of a teaching strategy - how it is to be learned and taught.

Constructive criticism, once removed | Technology Solutions  Technology Solutions for Teaching. A critique is a core function of our art program and an important part of our curriculum. I wanted a way to demystify the critical process and make it less intimidating.

The Sudbury Model And Criticism Of The Concept Of Teaching  The Sudbury Model and criticism of the concept of teaching in ... that learning is a process you do, not a process that is done to you, but what was surprising was that the precontraction part of the reaction time was shorter too.

Criticism and Interpretation: Teaching the Persuasive Aspects    In this context, it is helpful to explain the peer review process to students so ... Teach students to develop interpretations and criticisms that are separate ... Part of the difficulty for students is challenging subject material.

The Value of Written Peer Criticism    Teaching college writing using collaborative learning. Bruffee's approach to peer criticism is a modification of the peer review process.

Coaching with Constructive Criticism - For Dummies  Coaching with Constructive Criticism. Note that even the criticism should be sprinkled with praise.

Developing Personality Traits and Character Traits


How To Give Constructive Feedback to Sports Kids   Nov. 19, 2009 ... Filed under Youth Sports Coaching, positive feedback for kids · Tagged with constructive criticism, fear of failure, positive feedback.

Some Thoughts about Youth Sports - Part I   The purpose of youth sports is fun. If it's fun, they'll practice more and improve, and success will follow. Of course, kids need criticism to correct problems.

Youth Sports: A Pediatrician's Perspective on Coaching   Information as part of the criticism (e.g. “use 2 hands", “keep your glove down”).  Becoming a high school coach: from playing sports to coaching.

Sports Psychology Coach Certification; Become certified  A vital part of sports psychology is imagery; the process by which you can ... ( i.e. "I am in control of my emotional response to criticism at all times.").

Opposing Views: Is Your Kid's Sports Coach Building Team  May 21, 2010 ... The youth sports coach, of course. ... So, it may not just be the coach using harsh tones and criticism that affects a child. A child with a low score for self-esteem is likely to feel like an unimportant part of the team.

Sports Optimism - Building Positive Thinking  Positive think improves performance.  Sports Optimism - Building a ... Part 2 Coaching the Mind - Part 3 Sports Optimism - Building a Positive Mental Attitude.

Psychology of Coaching Class Blog: Sport Parents Archives    Feb. 4, 2010 Criticism, sideline- coaching, and angry heckling. When parents are overly vocal in negative or pushy ways, the child of that parent, as well as the rest of the team and other parents become embarrassed. These outbursts also lead to intimidation of players, parents, coaches, judges. and referees.

Coaching Children to embrace a "love of the Sport"  Coaches teach athletes to learn and improve skills, increase knowledge of strategies and tactics, and achieve their goals. Coaches can also inspire children to maintain motivation for participating in sport and, in so doing, allow them opportunities to accrue such benefits as positive self-esteem, enjoyable experiences, long-lasting friendships, and a positive attitude toward the value of lifetime physical activity.

Differences between coaching boys and girls  There are a few similarities, but for the most part, when coaching boys and girls, there are times that open criticism is needed. Girls will generally work harder and be willing to deal with pain more than boys. Girls are more concerned with trying to please the coach, while boys usually don't care as much. Girls also will tend to be less questioning of the coach, where boys want a reason for everything.

Serbian Journal of Sports Sciences | Syncretism Of Coaching  Which key factors determine coaching science? It is clear that coaching science represents a part of the scientific system of sport training.



The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Developing Personality Traits and Character Traits

All materials are copy protected. 

The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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