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Positive Coaching in the Classroom and at Home

Coaching in youth sports is being changed for the better - with Positive Coaching. The Positive Coaching Alliance (http://positivecoach.org) is partnered with many national youth sports organizations, including Little League International, US Lacrosse and USA Gymnastics to name just a few.

PCA works toward producing Double-Goal coaches: striving to win, while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports. To reach those two goals, much attention is placed on how coaches should communicate with players.

As teachers and parents, we can learn much from the positive coaching phenomenon. A lot of what is being taught in PCA classes applies to the classroom and home as well as on the field.

Here are three tidbits that you can immediately put into action:

Filling the Emotional Tank

Positive comments are more powerful than negative comments, but it takes a lot of positive comments to balance negative comments, corrections and criticisms.

The "Magic Ratio" is 5-to-1, five praises to one criticism: "The key to those five 'praises' is that they need to be truthful and specific. The Magic Ratio is not about saying 'Good Job!' five times; it's about giving specific feedback to kids about what they do well. And praise is delivered both verbally and non-verbally - clapping, cheering, head nods, listening & smiling all are part of the praise delivery." Concentrate on finding ways to fill the emotional tank in the classroom and at home.

Here is a YouTube clip demonstrating use of the "Magic Ratio" to fill the emotional tank:


If you must correct, use a "Criticism Sandwich":

A criticism sandwich is a criticism or correction surrounded by plenty of positives.

Here’s a great YouTube clip that summarizes a criticism sandwich:


Avoid Following a Compliment with "But":

"But" is a powerful word. When we hear the word "but" we tend to forget everything said before it because it negates what came first. So using "but" to follow a compliment with a criticism will give too much weight to the criticism. Try using "and" instead of "but," or just pausing to start a second sentence.

Here’s a short article that illustrates the power of replacing "but" with "and": Click Here

About the Author

Bill Franklin, the CEO of Internet4Classrooms, is our guest blogger this month. He has been on the faculty at The George Washington University, was a career Army Special Operations officer and also coaches in the Collier County school system.



Internet4classrooms is a collaborative effort by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles.




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