There Is A Difference Between Honest Criticism And Negativity
Jack Clark, a PCA National Advisory Board Member and member of the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame, has over 35 years coaching experience and is head coach for the University of California Varsity Rugby (@CalVarsityRugby) team, where he has won 28 combined national collegiate championships with an all-time collegiate coaching record of 614-78-5 (.880) in 15s and 109-14 (.886) in the Olympic Games version of 7s.
In this video, Clark shares the difference between who he was as a coach when he first started and how he's grown as a coach. Early on, he looked to point out weaknesses in players rather than strengths, but as he's learned what works better with his college athletes, he focused more on strengths. That shift not only improved team performance and competency, but it's also made rugby more fun for all his players.
However, as Clark says, "sport is study" so coaches shouldn't be afraid of always getting better and looking at what can be done better in detail. That criticsm doesn't have to be personal, nor does it have to be negative in nature. Rather than looking at what needs to be corrected as a weakness, Clark says it is important to always have an attitude of improvement and be honest without having a negative tone and attitude in that honest criticism.