A CALL FOR COACHING CIVILITY
CALL FOR COACHING CIVILITY
Dear Coach Bashers and Forum Trolls:
I consider myself fortunate to be experiencing my formative coaching years in such an exciting era of golf instruction. The vast digital landscape of our industry offers an unprecedented opportunity to connect, learn, and grow as a coach. The best in the business are sharing their ideas through digital products and social media while offering constant access to direct interactions.
More frequently though, I am noticing a growing contingent of coach bashers on those same social networks. And that’s where I have a bone to pick. You’re disrupting a good thing for the rest of us.
In your efforts to expose misinformation or the shortcomings of other coaches/methodologies, you’re actually halting the coaching community’s momentum. Either arrogance or close-mindedness has produced incivility that undermines an excellent source of positive interaction and productive debate. Now we have to navigate through the drivel and carefully avoid potential attacks.
I am all for healthy debate, it’s imperative to continue this positive push the golf world is currently experiencing. Many coaches are standing up and questioning long-held truths. Fresh and progressive ideas can now reach the masses and our cumulative coaching knowledge is expanding at an alarming rate.
So for that, I am willing to forgive some of the lesser sins like pot-stirring and instigating. But, Bashers and Trolls, the brazen denouncements and unsolicited attacks only discredit any positive work done by you or your associates. A certain amount of social aptitude is required when your job is to interact with other humans. So when you are unable to exhibit humanity when debating with your peers, it reflects poorly on your ability to coach– regardless of how often you’re ‘right’.
Those that are on a mission for accountability and to inform are to be admired. You’re the truth crusaders! Ultimately, you strive to deliver truth to the golfing masses and I empathize with your plight, but some of you are going about it wrong.
Your comparative tactics are closing minds and suspending the very growth and change that you seek. Unfortunately, any good ideas lose their potency when passive-aggressive condescension is your most frequently utilized persuasive device. Sharing your brilliance and proving it are two very different things.
When you go out of your way to scornfully highlight what you see as inaccuracies from other methodologies or coaches– it’s not only in poor taste– if you’re actually ‘right’, it’s redundant. You see, I should already know it was bad information. If you’ve succeeded in exposing other coaches and golfers to your innovative ideas, I didn’t need to see someone else’s mistake to know that you’re right. The only thing I learned from your coach bashing is that you have allowed an intoxicating mix of ambition and ego to supersede your talent as a coach.
I may be early on my journey, but I have coached long enough to know that humility and compassion are essential accoutrements of expert coaches. Not only do the best coaches maintain an open mind, but they also have an uncanny ability to open the minds of others. Even in the face of extreme opposition, they can effect change by demonstrating humility, courtesy, respect, and authenticity. Not ego.
While the bashing may produce a few vocal supporters, I can assure you that it alienates more peers than it garners support. If I support someone on the wrong side of your bashing, by association, I too, am not up to the your coaching standards. And, tread lightly, because we all make mistakes. I have a feeling that peers will be less than forgiving when you make yours.
Your previous tactics may be effective in inciting controversy and provoking comments– but the negative approach will only get you noticed, a positive approach will get you respected.
So my plea to you is to continue on your mission, but do so while exhibiting civility. Expose us to innovative ideas, question others in an effort to advance knowledge, share your fresh insights–it carries more weight when you do so with passion instead of disrespect. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. You can avoid wasting all that energy on attacking others and the rest of us can get back to learning. And hopefully, learning from you!
We all know you have much to add to the conversation.
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