BAD coaches can KILL player motivation.

BAD coaches can KILL player motivation. Here's how.

Here's a scenario, the coach is a "tough as nails" type of coach who's an occasional "yeller/screamer" and you might think, "good"...the players will be held accountable.


Here's why...

In behavioral psychology - there is a term called Operant Conditioning.

It's a known fact that if a behavior leads to the removal of a negative stimulus, that behavior increases. In other words - if a player is forced to bear the brunt of constant negative reinforcement...

...the common response is to avoid the behavior that caused the negative reinforcement in the first place.

Again - you might think "good, they'll try harder next time, and rise to the occasion".

Again - wrong.

In other words, the instinct is to avoid a negative response by shutting down. The pressure to perform. The Anxiety over stats and the preoccupation with the past is the more likely result.

In other words - you get a player who underachieves.

What A Good Baseball Coach Looks Like

IMPORTANT: This doesn't mean players shouldn't be pushed. Iron sharpens iron and pressure turns coal into diamonds...

...however, it seems constructive-criticism is only as effective as the foundation it's built on.

If it's not predicated on a sense of trust and good-will, it's likely that criticism will create players who will naturally avoid the behaviors that lead to athletes who develop good make-up.

A good coach - builds the player UP, breaks them DOWN, and "assists" in building them BACK UP.

On the flip-side, a coach who cares but feels you need to be benched as a way to reinforce the level of expectations they have for you is simply doing their job.

Understand: There is a big difference between wielding constructive criticism, yelling, and benching as a form of positive or negative reinforcement.

How can you tell?

Simple - the player can recite the team's mission, just as well as the coach can.

In closing, behind every good ballplayer is a coach, parent or instructor who helped them learn how to play the game the right way.

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