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Use "Kid-Friendly Criticism" To Correct Athletes

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"Kid-Friendly Criticism" is a technique for correcting youth athletes in ways that help the athlete hear and heed the correction, so that they are willing and able to make the requested adjustment. And this approach to correction can help keep kids positive, so that they do not get down on themselves or adopt a negative attitude that can quickly spread to teammates.

Among the keys to Kid-Friendly Criticism are picking the right circumstances in which to try to correct the athlete, asking permission to provide the input, doing so in private to avoid embarrassing the athlete, using "if-then" statements to underscore the cause and effect of specific techniques the athlete is using (or omitting) and surrounding the criticism with supportive, specific, truthful praise.

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