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Author Topic: The Coach vs God (Serious Topic)  (Read 11575 times)
Monk
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« on: June 28, 2007, 08:02:35 AM »

Would like to hear from anyone with opinions and/or experience in this area.

When, if at all, should it be OK for a team member to question the actions of the coach?

- To my mind the coaches authority should be considered god-like and not to be impugned. Opinions?

- It might be ok to offer suggestion/critique in a one-on-one setting, but the coach decides absolutely whether such input will be considered, and the input topic is closed thereafter. Opinions?

What would you do with persistent individuals who are constantly after the coach in this regard?

Please, I welcome any and all input.





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wanker
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 08:14:07 AM »

The coach cannot be undermined on the boat and/or in the presence of the team at large.  Allowing continuing comment can lead to fracturing of the team.

We've had troubles with this in the past.  It is up to the coach to speak up and shut down the negative commentary, and enforce a rule that if a paddler feels the need to comment, they must do so in private.  This is not to say that such comments are completely unwelcome - the coaching staff are not infallible.  But do it in private, after practice.
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Swordfish
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 08:25:01 AM »

The coach cannot be undermined on the boat and/or in the presence of the team at large.  Allowing continuing comment can lead to fracturing of the team.

We've had troubles with this in the past.  It is up to the coach to speak up and shut down the negative commentary, and enforce a rule that if a paddler feels the need to comment, they must do so in private.  This is not to say that such comments are completely unwelcome - the coaching staff are not infallible.  But do it in private, after practice.

Absolutely agree 100%. 
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Monk
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 08:46:16 AM »

The coach cannot be undermined on the boat and/or in the presence of the team at large.  Allowing continuing comment can lead to fracturing of the team.

We've had troubles with this in the past.  It is up to the coach to speak up and shut down the negative commentary, and enforce a rule that if a paddler feels the need to comment, they must do so in private.  This is not to say that such comments are completely unwelcome - the coaching staff are not infallible.  But do it in private, after practice.

What if it has been broached in private and the outcome is not to the satisfaction of the individual, and what if that individual insists upon brininging it up again and again? To my mind the topic is closed once the outcome has been established and the individual can accept or move on. Opinion?
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Colossus
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 09:06:33 AM »

explain your reasons and reasoning, and if they still don't agree, then tough ****.  learn to deal with it, or move on.  on a team of 20+ paddlers, no one is going to be completely satisfied in all things (unless you coach a team of drones).  Usually, the coach has been chosen for a reason, by the team, so if a single individual has a problem with the way the coach is doing things or even just ONE thing, that person needs to shut up and put up, or move along.
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wanker
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 09:37:17 AM »

What if it has been broached in private and the outcome is not to the satisfaction of the individual, and what if that individual insists upon brininging it up again and again? To my mind the topic is closed once the outcome has been established and the individual can accept or move on. Opinion?
Then it's just too bad for the individual.  We've tolerated the public comments in the boat in the past and found that it had driven members away.  This past year we've taken a firm stance and it seems to have improved things, even though we ended up losing the vocal member in question (who was of course a pretty good paddler, had some great ideas, was extremely dedicated, was tied into some sponsorship, etc).  It really, really sucks.  But for the good of the team, you have to draw the line.  Perhaps other teams have had different experiences.
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haywitch
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2007, 10:13:58 AM »

The coach cannot be undermined on the boat and/or in the presence of the team at large.  Allowing continuing comment can lead to fracturing of the team.

Absolutely agree!!
Had this experience with one paddler on a team I paddled with several years ago, even though the team rule was speak in private and the ultimate and final decision remains with the coach.
This led to a demoralized disjointed team where a number of the paddlers either quit or moved on to other teams (myself included....this is not a 5th moon experience).
The coach even ended up taking a year break from coaching.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 10:24:17 AM by haywitch » Logged

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dogpaddle
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 10:56:57 AM »

Monk...I think that you are and the coach are doing a great job. Some ground rules were set this year and I think that they need to be enforced. As we have experienced in the past, it does put a damper on the entire team. Go with what you think is the best. The rest of the team will stand behind you.
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hoover
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 10:59:15 AM »

A good coach should have a pretty good feel for all the issues happening on a boat. If s/he has an issue that is non-negotiable, then they should publicly state it with a pretty solid case to back up their point of view. I think it is ok for a paddler to disagree with their coach.

Most coaches I've worked often maintain open discussions with their team by fielding initial questions regarding issues; discussing it in private and in depth if it is an issue worth debating, and if that discussion still doesn't come across with a decision - bring it up as an open discussion with the team to have it settled in a public forum.

The important thing that needs to happen is that everybody needs to respect the decision made, even if you disagree with it and to put egos aside.
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Viking Paddler
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2007, 11:52:22 AM »

The important thing that needs to happen is that everybody needs to respect the decision made, even if you disagree with it and to put egos aside.

Hoover makes a good point.  Ego's play a big part of what's going on here and if both parties are not able to check their egos at the door all that will come of this is dampened spirits for the team as a whole.  I've seen it before where both the coach and the paddler weren't willing to do this and thus it didn't allow the individuals involved or the team from progressing forward.  But if this has been attempted and still no progress, there is really only one avenue left and that is to part ways.  Paddlers need to find the right coach for them and vice versa.
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glowing_ice
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2007, 01:11:57 PM »

hmm... where is that post puppy made regarding the "evolution of a paddler".  contructive dialogue is always a good thing.  but this is a team sport and many people should just suck it up and swallow their pride.  (especially coach vs. paddler... or the i know best type of ego.)

unfortunately it takes more than 1 person to take a dragonboat through the finish line.
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kenbo604
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2007, 01:26:46 PM »

I think this situation can definately run both ways. With any team whether it be in Dragonboat or at work, what needs to be built is a sense of trust and rapport between the Coach and the Team. 

This takes time and work from the coaches end as they'll need to gain the respect of their team through listening, taking feedback constructively, and through being approachable, and responsive.  There is a large difference between listening, and disregarding - and listening, and addressing.

Once this this communication level of trust has been built, the team will then trust the judgement and decisions of their coach, which will in turn create a lot of heathy feedback and communication throughout the team.

Everyteam esentially goes through some growing pains, but I think the "God" approach can definately be destructive if the initial stages of trust and rapport have not been developed yet. 

My 2 cents.




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Monk
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2007, 01:32:34 PM »

Thanx to all that have replied with input on this topic. It helps to get alternative perspective on this sort of stuff.

Feel free to keep it coming...
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Monk
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2007, 01:47:50 PM »

I think this situation can definately run both ways. With any team whether it be in Dragonboat or at work, what needs to be built is a sense of trust and rapport between the Coach and the Team................
I have actually noticed that he place where the trust/rapport is universally established (or close it) is where difficulties seems to crop up the most...

Has anyone out there had that experience?
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brainiac
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2007, 01:52:43 PM »

For me there is what happens in the boat versus what happens off the boat. In the boat, the coach has a plan and the plan most likely doesn't include an open forum to discuss issues. So, in the boat, "shut up and paddle" as the saying goes. Off the boat, a coach should be looking for feedback (always constructive), know how to answer questions and how to handle criticism. However, I suggest it would be preferable for a team channel feedback from individuals through the team captain.
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