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Issue 81 - If You Are Afraid of Criticism You Will Die Doing Nothing

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2 Issue 81
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



This quote of Coach Wooden's has a clear message.
Coach taught his players how to deal with criticism by breaking it down into two types: criticism they would receive from him and the coaching staff, and criticism they would receive from sources outside of the team (media, fans, alumni, ect.).
I think this is an excellent model because in our professional and personal lives we receive direct criticism from coaches and supervisors and criticism from outside sources.
This issue will discuss dealing with direct criticism from a coach or supervisor.
Coach gave his players miscellaneous materials throughout the season. He distributed a small amount every week or two or whenever something seemed particularly applicable and needed.
The following is a handout coach distributed to the team regarding criticism:
Re: Criticism
1. If the coach “bawls you out”, consider it as a compliment. He is trying to teach you and impress a point upon you. If he were not interested in you, he would not bother. A player is criticized only to improve him and not for any personal reasons.
2. Take your criticism in a constructive way without alibis or sulking. If the coach was wrong, he will find out in due time.
3. Do not nag or razz or criticize a teammate at any time. It may lead to a bad feeling which can only hurt the team. We must avoid cliques and all work toward the best interest of the team.
There are three parts to criticism we receive: how it is said (tone of voice, language used), why it is said (intention of the person criticizing us can vary) and the information communicated.
It is helpful to ignore how it is said, be aware of why it is said and concentrate without emotion on the information being communicated.
Coach also prepared his teams with an expectation of being criticized, by giving them a handout entitled:
Re: Expected Criticism for Early in the Season. Please Prove Me Wrong.

This was followed by nine specific points regarding offense and five specific points regarding defense. A copy of the handout is in the appendix of Coach Wooden's book
Practical Modern Basketball (a great resource document for anybody).
I tell basketball players that if you go through a practice and don't get corrected it probably means you're not going to play much. You should go to the coach and ask: How can I improve?
In a corporate environment, I remind employees it is not a good situation if your supervisor is not giving you input on your performance. The silent treatment from a supervisor is sometimes used prior to suspension or termination, or as a means of expressing dissatisfaction.
If you are getting the silent treatment you should ask your supervisor: How can I improve?
Take it as a compliment to be criticized. Respond verbally in a positive manner and make your best effort not to repeat the same mistake.

Whether it is in the workplace or on the basketball court, coaches love having players on their team that are coachable.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom



Watch Video

Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry

 Open Minded

 An open mind
Has no doors
No crushing ceilings
No cold floors

An open mind
Says any opinion
Has many meanings
In any dominion

An open mind
Reaches out with reason
And tears down barriers
We prop up and lean on

An open mind
Touches the soul
If we let it lead us

It will make us whole



 Happiness=Open Mindededness


 There's more to life than this you see,
I'm tired of this monotony
an overdose of similarity
has taken this boredom to a 't'

 we change our clothes, our hair, our minds
to somehow entertain our time
we want to fix these tedious lines,
and bring color and shapes into our lives

to free yourself from fixed preconceptions
will point you in a new direction
one that will please you and your peers reflections
toward individuality and personal exemption

Zoe Wyant





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