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Issue 511 - "Correction does much, but encouragement does more." (Tony Dungy Part Ten)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 511
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Tony Dungy was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008. Coach Dungy became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl when his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in 2007.
"Correction does much, but encouragement does more." – Goethe (1749-1832)
In his book, The Leader Mentor, Coach Dungy explained the importance of encouragement:
"Encouragement is the fuel that powers our efforts to engage, educate, and equip. Nothing does more to lubricate the rough spots than a good dose of encouragement.
When I started coaching at Tampa Bay, we were not winning, and therefore we received our share of criticism from fans and the media. During my first year, I was careful in my postgame evaluations with our players to point out the good things they were doing and the progress we were making as a team, even though we weren't winning consistently.
It's not just in tough situations that people need encouragement. Even when things are going smoothly, it's important to build people up. Once we started winning and the media coverage became more positive, I talked less and less about what we were doing well and more about the corrections we needed to make going forward to improve. Without realizing it, I lost the encouraging tone with my team. Finally, after I had reviewed a game during a long winning streak, one of our veteran players asked me, "Will we ever play a game where you're satisfied?" I was extremely satisfied with how they were playing. The only problem was they didn't know it. It was a lesson I tried to remember from then on. Everyone needs encouragement, even when things are going well."
Encouragement should be focused on effort and proper execution, not on the result. Encouragement should be consistent when deserved and incremental, not just at the end of the month or after a game. When families are teaching babies to walk, they applaud and encourage each time the child takes a few steps. They don't wait until the child is running around and say: "Good Job".
Do you provide your team with the right type of consistent encouragement?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



The Deeds of Anger

I used to lose my temper an' git mad an' tear around
An' raise my voice so wimmin folks would tremble at the sound;
I'd do things I was ashamed of when the fit of rage had passed,
An' wish I hadn't done 'em, an' regret 'em to the last;
But I've learned from sad experience how useless is regret,
For the mean things done in anger are the things you can't forget.

'Tain't no use to kiss the youngster once your hand has made him cry;
You'll recall the time you struck him till the very day you die;
He'll forget it an' forgive you an' to-morrow seem the same,
But you'll keep the hateful picture of your sorrow an' your shame,
An' it's bound to rise to taunt you, though you long have squared the debt,
For the things you've done in meanness are the things you can't forget.

Lord, I sometimes sit an' shudder when some scene comes back to me,
Which shows me big an' brutal in some act o' tyranny,
When some triflin' thing upset me an' I let my temper fly,
An' was sorry for it after- but it's vain to sit an' sigh.
So I'd be a whole sight happier now my sun begins to set,
If it wasn't for the meanness which I've done an' can't forget.

Now I think I've learned my lesson an' I'm treadin' gentler ways,
An' I try to build my mornings into happy yesterdays;
I don't let my temper spoil 'em in the way I used to do
An' let some splash of anger smear the record when it's through;
I want my memories pleasant, free from shame or vain regret,
Without any deeds of anger which I never can forget.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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