Feedback Focus: Give this post-practice technique a try
By Greg Bach
The post-practice scenario that unfolds for many youth sports teams around the country is chaotically similar: players scurry around, grabbing water bottles, checking text messages and heading for their rides.
But consider what happens following every Drake University women’s basketball practice: Players are required to give feedback. They have a voice. And what they say matters.
The approach can have enormous applications for your team, regardless of the sport you are coaching.
“It’s relatable at any level,” says Jennie Baranczyk, Drake’s head coach and a former standout player at Iowa. “I have a 5-year-old and after he plays in a baseball game we ask him what was really fun, and what is he going to try to work on? You can do the same things with your kids that you are coaching, and then you can do the same things with players at our level, too.”
It’s an easy-to-implement technique, too.
“One of the things that we ask them every day is to name one thing that went really well and one thing that we need to be better at tomorrow,” says Baranczyk, who has been the Missouri Valley Conference’s Coach of the Year the past two seasons. “Sometimes they have to write it down, sometimes they have to say it out loud in front of everybody, and sometimes they just have to think about it.”
Baranczyk is one of 50 outstanding coaches featured in our new Secrets of Successful Coaching book, which can be purchased through the Square One Publishers website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or through your local bookstore.
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Princeton basketball coach Courtney Banghart, the 2015 Naismith Coach of the Year and widely recognized as one of the game’s great leaders, on what you need to know to get the most from your young athletes
Former college soccer midfielder and long-time youth coach Jillian Carroll on inspiring young athletes to work together and perform at their best on the field and in their lives
Former Stanford great Nicole Powell, head women’s basketball coach at Grand Canyon University, on creating team cultures where players genuinely care for and support each other