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Last week England Rugby Union Head Coach Stuart Lancaster had to disappoint 8 men and deliver the disappointing news that they wouldn’t be included in his 31 man squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
When picking your teams/squads whether it's for league matches or tournaments how do you handle delivering disappointing news?
How does your approach differ for children, young people and adults when delivering news they aren’t expecting?
I think the vital aspect of this is that the coach does adapt their delivery depending on 1) Age 2) Level 3) Context.
In an elite environment players and coaches are aware of the competitiveness not only during games/tournaments but with player selection as well. I do believe this is a vital component as it helps to eradicate any complacency from the players. However with fun sessions, inclusion is key and I would rarely select specific players. I would try and adopt an equal playing strategy.
When delivering disappointing news I make sure to give some kind of feedback to the players. Furthermore, I would only do this with youth players as I believe communication is really important both from myself/coach and the players themselves. In terms of senior players I would be less inclined to give specific feedback unless they asked me. With team selection in a senior environment they are more able to analyse their performance and decipher aspects of their game they need to improve on. However, if the player(s) wanted further information or feedback I would be happy to provide it.
A clear and transparent understanding between coach and player is an important so the player(s) fully understand the bar or task that is set if they want to be selected.
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