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Posted in: High Performance Coaching

Good! Don’t call me Good.

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  • Ralph

    “Good! Don’t call me Good. I’m the scariest creature in this wood.”

    The Gruffalo

     My two current mentors have opposite views on performance sports

     View 1

    Fear is an integral factor in performance sport, it never goes away, it must be embraced & acknowledged; without compromise to honest commitment.

     View 2

    Fear is not an emotion, it’s an anti-emotion, like matter and anti-matter. There is only one true emotion and that is Love, it’s the only way to achieve highest performance.


    The views seemed to contradict, who’s right?

  • IanMahoney

     I'm afriad love alone doesn't lead to high performance.

    It is better to say to an athlete or player  "Good effort"  rather than "That was good/bad"

  • Ralph
    On 25/09/16 2:05 AM, Ian Mahoney said:

     I'm afriad love alone doesn't lead to high performance.

    it would seem you are right Ian.

    it would seem the effort is the balance point between love and fear?

    Julie Lythcott-Haims: How to raise successful kids -- without over-parenting

    But if you look at what we've done, if you have the courage to really look at it, you'll see that not only do our kids think their worth comes from grades and scores, but that when we live right up inside their precious developing minds all the time, like our very own version of the movie "Being John Malkovich," we send our children the message: "Hey kid, I don't think you can actually achieve any of this without me." And so with our overhelp, our overprotection and overdirection and hand-holding, we deprive our kids of the chance to build self-efficacy, which is a really fundamental tenet of the human psyche, far more important than that self-esteem they get every time we applaud. Self-efficacy is built when one sees that one's own actions lead to outcomes.

    Not one's parents' actions on one's behalf, but when one's own actions lead to outcomes. So simply put, if our children are to develop self-efficacy, and they must, then they have to do a whole lot more of the thinking, planning, deciding, doing, hoping, coping, trial and error, dreaming and experiencing of life for themselves.

    That is not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, when we treat grades and scores and accolades and awards as the purpose of childhood, all in furtherance of some hoped-for admission to a tiny number of colleges or entrance to a small number of careers, then that too narrow a definition of success for our kids. And even though we might help them achieve some short-term wins by overhelping -- like they get a better grade if we help them do their homework, they might end up with a longer childhood résumé when we help -- what I'm saying is that all of this comes at a long-term cost to their sense of self. What I'm saying is, we should be less concerned with the specific set of colleges they might be able to apply to or might get into and far more concerned that they have the habits, the mindset, the skill set, the wellness, to be successful wherever they go. What I'm saying is, our kids need us to be a little less obsessed with grades and scores and a whole lot more interested in childhood providing a foundation for their success built on things like love and chores.

    Did I just say chores? Did I just say chores? I really did. But really, here's why. The longest longitudinal study of humans ever conducted is called the Harvard Grant Study. It found that professional success in life, which is what we want for our kids, that professional success in life comes from having done chores as a kid, and the earlier you started, the better, that a roll-up-your-sleeves- and-pitch-in mindset, a mindset that says, there's some unpleasant work, someone's got to do it, it might as well be me, a mindset that says, I will contribute my effort to the betterment of the whole, that that's what gets you ahead in the workplace. Now, we all know this. You know this.

    We all know this, and yet, in the checklisted childhood, we absolve our kids of doing the work of chores around the house, and then they end up as young adults in the workplace still waiting for a checklist, but it doesn't exist, and more importantly, lacking the impulse, the instinct to roll up their sleeves and pitch in and look around and wonder, how can I be useful to my colleagues? How can I anticipate a few steps ahead to what my boss might need?

    A second very important finding from the Harvard Grant Study said that happiness in life comes from love, not love of work, but love of humans: our spouse, our partner, our friends, our family. So childhood needs to teach our kids how to love, and they can't love others if they don't first love themselves, and they won't love themselves if we can't offer them unconditional love.

     All right, so you're thinking, chores and love, that sounds all well and good, but give me a break. The colleges want to see top scores and grades and accolades and awards, and I'm going to tell you, sort of. The very biggest brand-name schools are asking that of our young adults, but here's the good news. Contrary to what the college rankings racket would have us believe -- you don't have to go to one of the biggest brand name schools to be happy and successful in life. Happy and successful people went to state school, went to a small college no one has heard of, went to community college, went to a college over here and flunked out.

    The evidence is in this room, is in our communities, that this is the truth. And if we could widen our blinders and be willing to look at a few more colleges, maybe remove our own egos from the equation, we could accept and embrace this truth and then realize, it is hardly the end of the world if our kids don't go to one of those big brand-name schools. And more importantly, if their childhood has not been lived according to a tyrannical checklist then when they get to college, whichever one it is, well, they'll have gone there on their own volition, fueled by their own desire, capable and ready to thrive there.


    and raising two kids of my own, my kids aren't bonsai trees. They're wildflowers of an unknown genus and species --

    My job is not to make them become what I would have them become, but to support them in becoming their glorious selves."

  • RobintoRugby


    Interesting topic.


    In my coaching experience, the opposite of Good is not Bad.

    Good to me (in many coaching sessions i have watched) the term good as used by coaches means that they may not have the coaching experience to identify what was good. This term "good" along with "well done" and "unlucky" are used far too often by coaches. My thoughts are that if you feel you say any of the following subsitute them for an explanation

    Good = you executed a skill very well / your line of running really help the ball carrier ETC, specific.

    Well done = the same response - what was well done, who did it and why was it good

    Unlucky = was part of the skill broke down / why did it break down / is it a reccuring theme / how to correct


    I feel these types of coach / athlete interactions will instill the feeling of improvement and confidence from the athelete, ensure that all sessions are oppertunities to learn and that the athlete feels more comfortable with making errors / trying things in training session, which will make them more highly skilled come game time.

  • Ralph
    On 26/09/16 9:11 AM, Robert Thomson said:

    This term "good" along with "well done" and "unlucky" are used far too often by coaches.

    spot on Robert, i think that is what the above author means about...

    "far more important than that self-esteem they get every time we applaud."

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