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Correcting An "I" Attitude

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"As a parent and coach of girls ages 10-14, I have a question regarding 'I' attitude. All of a sudden this year, the more competitive the girls get, the 'I' attitude comes out. The majority of these girls are very good friends off the field. They are all very skilled, and instead of encouraging each other they are competing with each other. How can I transform this situation?"

PCA Response By Joe Scally, PCA Trainer-Chicago
The “I” attitude you are observing may be traced to a lot of potential sources: parents’ attitudes, pressure to excel, a girl’s personality, situations at school or home, and so on. You may never be able to identify the source of the “I” attitude, nor is it necessary to address every variable. Additionally, you won’t eradicate an “I” attitude in certain players nor would that necessarily be desirable. For some players it is developmentally appropriate for them to explore an “I” attitude on or off the field to find the right balance for themselves.

Rather, it is important that you work to instill a team-oriented approach that all of the players are expected to work toward. This will help reduce the negative impact of an “I” attitude on the team’s play. More importantly, you will teach your players life lessons about the importance of contributing to a team and ways to do that. Some will learn these lessons more quickly than others. Take satisfaction when your players put team first and anticipate that there will be ups and downs

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