For every negative, there should be a positive (and then some)

I remember taking a management seminar class back when I was running a shoe store in the Vancouver Mall “BK” (which stands for “before kids”). The store is no longer there…which tells you about how good of a job I did. Anyway…the presenter stressed “positive/negative/positive” when dealing with employees…start out with something positive to say, then negative if you need to and then back to something positive.

It sure would have been nice if I would have thought back to this as a Little League manager…you see outside of letting my own ego get in the way of coaching my biggest mistake was not saying enough positive things but sure said a lot of negative things. This, I feel, is one of the biggest problems with youth sports today – the positive things are almost ignored and the negative things go squarely under the microscope for all the world to see.

Sure, players make mistakes and sure, there are times when we as coaches and as parents forget this fact (I am as guilty as anyone). Nine times out of 10 the player knows why it didn’t work out so well and as a coach you need to explain why and tell him/her how to prevent it. Parents, don’t talk about the game or practice in the car ride home if things didn’t go so well.

But when your player/your child does something well, by all means, let them know about it. The most rewarding thing to me as a coach was when one of our players would do something wrong, learn from his mistake, listen to how to correct it and do so. The outcome wasn’t important, the grin ear-to-ear was.

There’s an old phrase “you catch more bees with honey”…meaning if you treat someone well you’ll get good results. And where I sit from the cheap seats a happy player, one that is enjoying themselves out on the field is more likely to do well than one whose head is down with a sad face. Regardless of ability, level of play or level of opponent. I wish I had remembered this more as a coach… and I hope all of you reading learn from my mistakes as well.


Because I missed last week’s blog post I’m carrying over my record from two weeks prior. I would have been 2-1 because I thought for sure Arizona would beat the Cougs. Perhaps the Cougs thought they were the Huskies for some reason. Anyway…here’s my picks for this week headlined by those Huskies vs. Oregon State and I’m hedging my bet a bit on this one.

OREGON STATE 31, Washington 30 (Huskies most likely come into Corvallis for the second straight time with a backup QB but it doesn’t matter…Washington’s offensive/defensive lines struggle on the road)

OREGON 32, Arizona 20 (Wildcats hang tough against the Ducks at home)

WASHINGTON STATE 27, Utah 12 (Cougars continue to think opponents are the Huskies and play inspired ball. Utah mirrors Huskies…backup QB starting in a road game)

Overall : 26-5 (1-1 two weeks ago)



Paul Williams

I am a sports nut who has tried to make the transition from athlete to athletic....err....supporter of my two children and their athletic endeavours. I am also a former sports reporter for The Arlington Times, Marysville Globe, The Skagit Argus and The Coeur d'Alene Press. Follow me on Facebook or on Twitter (@PDub4170).

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