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The worst thing a coach can do to a player is....

Many people walk through life with a shadow. He follows them everywhere we go -- to the meeting room, the practice field, the dinner table -- and he exists to convince his host that he's not good enough. Sometimes he disappears, others he's all we can see and hear. His name is Doubt.

As LeCharles Bentley writes on his site O-Line Performance, coaches can sometimes unknowingly give life to doubt when they pull players for making a mistake. In fact, they write, "the worst thing a coach can do to a player is pull him out of a game for making a mistake. There’s nothing that ruins a player’s growth faster than playing this game with them. I’ve witnessed players having to play under this perverse ideology of coaching, and it’s not pretty. The short and long-term damage done to a player isn’t conducive to healthy player development."

In addition to reinforcing feelings of self-doubt, when coaches pull players for making a mistake they tacitly encourage players to overcompensate by trying too hard and playing outside their assignments, they erode a player's love for the game and they sow seeds of mistrust between the player and themselves.

Bentley writes:

"How well would you coach if you were sent to the locker room for giving a bad-coaching point? How well would you coach if you were threatened to be replaced with another coach every time your players made a mistake? How much would you love coaching under these circumstances? This has nothing to do with toughness and everything with humans wanting to be treated fairly."

Bentley's article is well worth your time. Read the full piece here.