In a team setting, you are what you emphasize. With our team, we emphasize teamwork and unselfish play through praise and rewards. When communicating with your team, choose your words wisely. Effective feedback is vital to your team’s success. Feedback should be more frequent early in learning process, but reduced as your team becomes more skilled in their execution.
We as a staff provide feedback in the form of a “sandwich.” Give one correction “sandwiched” with two different “kudos.” Be equally mindful about the type and timing of your feedback. For player/team achievement, feedback from coaches that is positive and prescriptive will foster motivation and increase your team’s learning curve. Prescriptive feedback should be geared towards performance enhancement adjustments. “Freeze your finish” is an example of prescriptive feedback.
Pausing before feedback affords your team time to internally process their actions and manage their own corrections. Learning is more effective with delayed feedback because your player can incorporate both intrinsic and extrinsic feedback. We like to pose questions as feedback to increase self –analysis and spark corrective communication amongst teammates.
Lastly, consider the concept of “bandwidth feedback.” Allow your team to experience setbacks within a pre-determined margin for error window. Avoid stopping team play after every turnover. Perhaps only address those turnovers from poor decisions, and reserve comment for a mishandled pass. Bandwidth feedback will decrease their coaching dependency and strengthen their own error management. The ultimate goals of feedback are empowerment and promoting self-sufficiency.