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Old Mon Jan 01, 2001, 04:06pm
Paul in Seattle Paul in Seattle is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 27
Still developing how to talk to coaches. The following may not work for you. Indeed--they may not work for me...this is as much to solicit veteran input as to give suggestions. Please tell me what you think.

1) If my partner has criticized me to the coach, what if anything should I say to defend myself? (This actually happened to me this weekend)

"Coach, I'm doing my best to give you a fair game." Then, you'd better believe I'm reporting the partner to our Ethics and Grievances committee. It's completely inexcusable, what your partner did, and I hope you write him/her up.

2) When is it ever appropriate to talk to a coach at any length? Are they allowed to claim a full minute of my time if they call a time out?

I avoid lengthy conversation. When it becomes clear the coach wants an extended conversation, I'll cut it off by saying "I hear you, coach" or "If that's happening, I'll try to catch it."

3) Are there things that I should never explain to a coach, but just button my lip?

Depends on the coach. I can tell if the coach legitimately wants an explanation, I'll give it (I find it effective to start with "You won't like this, coach, but I saw...") If I sense he/she just wants to get on me, I'll avoid conflict.

4) How do I admit I was wrong, without losing face?

You don't lose face by admitting you were wrong--it beats lame excuses or made-up explanations.

5) sometimes the compliments are worse than the insults -- what do you say to the winning coach when he comes up after the game and says, "Thanks for that last call " This actually happened to me. What should I have said?

Gosh, I didn't hear that coach say that! But if "hearing it" is unavoidable, maybe just "That's what I saw."


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