Friday, May 6, 2016

When to Correct Mistakes

Image Courtesy of poetsandquants.com
When should you correct mistakes? This is a question that every coach has to deal with daily in practices and games - what do you let go and what do you deal with? Saying that you correct every, single mistake sounds good in theory, but I believe that leads to jumbled messages for players and wasted time. The last few days I've heard this gem as rule of thumb: correct patterns of mistakes. If a mistake happens once treat it as an anomaly, when you see it a second/third time address it and the continue to address it. This cuts down on wasting time to stop practice for things that are not happening often. It also helps you dial in your focus and feedback.

I'm always looking for themes that pop up and this has come up twice in the last week. The first time it came up was last weekend at the PGC Clinic - one of the speakers talked about how when we look for patterns of mistakes our feedback is more useful. And this week I was started reading Bob Knight's "The Power of Negative Thinking". In the book Coach Knight talks about looking for patterns of mistakes when studying film and bringing those up during film sessions with players - as opposed to every mistake.

No obviously, there are some major mistakes you have to correct quickly and immediately. But if you subscribe to this it can help you dial into 'what's important now' and allow you to focus your energy on fixing the big picture things that will have the most benefit.