Thursday, January 18th, 2018

About you v concern you

September 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Mental Side

Every person in this world is going to hear criticism.  In the world of baseball, players and coaches often get it from all directions.  Other players, other coaches, fans, parents, reporters, etc. all are quick to criticize others.  Like it or not, it is the nature of sports.

Some people are not affected at all by it and others seem to lose their mind even at the slightest criticism.  What

The parent posse

separates the two?  How do you know which criticisms to respond to and which ones to ignore?  This is where the title of the post comes into play.  I’ll use a coach as an example.

In the middle of the game, the “parent posse” in the stands is overheard criticizing your strategy on having the kid bunt in the 2nd inning.  After the game, the reporter questions why you pulled the pitcher when you did and is not so subtle about expressing his displeasure about it in the following day’s newspaper.  Do you respond?  I say NO because those criticisms, although “about” you, really shouldn’t “concern” you.

Here are some other scenarios.  You are accused of cancelling a game due to field conditions a bit too early in order to save your pitching.  A parent is very vocal against you in the stands about how their kid should be playing over other players.  In these situations, it is probably worth responding in some way because not only are these criticisms “about” you, they should “concern” you as well.  In the first example, the coach is not simply disagreeing with a strategy, he is questioning your integrity.  In the second example, if someone does not address the parent, it could very quickly spiral downward for parents in the stands and/or team chemistry on the field.

Of course, how and when you decide to address both those situations could lead to even more problems but the point is you don’t want to just let those comments sit out there and fester.

A coach or player cannot possibly respond to every piece of criticism they face.  It will drive them crazy if they try.  Learning how to differentiate between those criticisms that are simply “about” you and those that should “concern” you will not only save you time but aggravation as well.

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