Saturday, November 25th, 2017

The double whammy of incompetence

October 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Misc

This school year I am teaching a course I have never taught before.  It is AP Psychology.  It certainly is a lot of

by Jeff Brown & Mark Fenske

by Jeff Brown & Mark Fenske

work but it has definitely been rewarding already.  I’ve always been fascinated by the field of sports/performance psychology so when another teacher was needed, I volunteered.  

To brush up on my psychology knowledge, I have been reading a few books.  One book I’m in the middle of is called The Winner’s Brain by Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske.  I’m less than a hundred pages into it but something I recently read jumped out at me and inspired me to pass it on.  They call it “the double whammy of incompetence.”  It is explained by the authors as the following:

“…the parts of the brain that are involved with proficiency of a task are also often the same parts that handle proficiency awareness – so when you are bad at something, you may have no idea how bad you really are.” (pp.62-63)

Sound familiar?  It is sad but there are always players who are convinced that they are great players when the reality is quite different.  I think every high school coach has seen a player not make the team and behave as if they are totally shocked.  They often are the only person to be surprised.  Along those same lines, we’ve all had players who don’t get much playing time at the high school level who are totally convinced that they are going to play at a top college.  These players often make us wonder what world they (and some of their parents) are living in.

Apparently, there might just be a psychological reason for all this – the double whammy of incompetence.

Of course, it goes without saying that this condition never affects baseball coaches.  Right?

Tomorrow’s post:  Product review – The ProX Batting Tee


2 Responses to “The double whammy of incompetence”
  1. Jodi Murphy says:

    No one likes to admit they are bad at something, and if no one actually tells you that you aren’t very good why would you think otherwise? Obviously we as parents try to support our kids but at some point you have to make sure they are being realistic about their talents and their future. If they love to play being the best won’t matter.

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