This is the last of the five part senior leadership training series. I'm hoping for some practice footage tonight.
Countdown to Kickoff 2012: Day 26
Again, like I commented yesterday, love to hear both the SEALs and our coaches talk about being POSITIVE with the team and how that is a better way to communicate and train them.
The disparity between our coaches trying to get the best out of the team through positive reinforcement and a guy like Kelly just screaming at his team couldn't be more glaring. And while a lot of old-school football guys may think the yelling is just part of it, if being positive is right for the SEALs (listen to what the trainer says about this in Day 27), then it is good enough for me.
if they went through full SEAL training, they would experience some negative screaming as well.
That said, I know my son responds better to a positive coach. He's had a few screamers, and when they scream at him, he gets sullen instead of listening and learning.
However, he read Bo's lasting Lessons for a non-fiction book report last year, and reminded me about Bo's yardsticks when were ripping wood on the table saw recently.
(I personally think, as long as Kelly keeps up his screaming, and quaterback flip-flopping, Notre Dame is going to be in a mire. Long may that continue to be the case.)
He knew different people were motivated by different things. Some guys needed a kick in the ass to get going. Other could totally get the point with an "I am so disappointed in you". the key to any good leader is to know what motivates each individual, to get the best results out of each of them, and not act the same way for everyone.
My favorite anecdote RE positive and negative feedback in a military setting comes from Daniel Kahneman in his time with the Israeli airforce. Instructors would yell at pilots after poor performances and praise pilots after good performances. They noticed over time that pilots who got yelled at went on to perform better, and pilots who got praised went on to perform more poorly. They attributed the change in performance to their motivational techniques (and hence concluded that yelling was better than praising), not realizing the role that regression to the mean plays.
I guess the morals of the story are that it's easy to get confused about the impacts of motivational techniques and that Daniel Kahneman is really smart. (http://crookedtimber.org/2010/09/28/mean-and-regressive/)
There is a time and place for some yelling, but the point is well taken. The point is you are trying to build them up, teach them something about themselves, that they can share with the rest of the team. It looked like it was a good experience for all of the seniors.
...from the general coaching mindset of my era (1970s) when coaches, in probably most cases, practiced ONLY negative reinforcement and Machiavellian techniques.
I clearly recall football 2-a-days in August NOT being allowed to drink water (how stupid is that), getting screamed at constantly and even physical confrontation with coaches (getting shoved and slapped around).
In my mind, playing out of a sense of respect trumps playing in fear any day.
I thought it was pretty cool that Wellman was doing these exercises with the team, and I like the example he was setting for them here by doing this (including doing a second set of pull-ups for someone who was sitting out for that exercise). He basically said that he didn't want to be the coach that just said, "Go do that" and sat back while they did it, which is probably an excellent thing if you are the S&C coach in particular. More proof that the team is in good hands.
coaching aspect. I am a high school football coach. Next week I start my 26th year of coaching doubles. In that time I have seen many coaches come and go with different styles. The best head coach we had never yelled - he taught and he encouraged. He led by example and built relationships. Every kid on the team would run through a wall for him. They knew he was on their side. It was so refreshing compared to the high school coaches I played for and the coaches I started out coaching for.
Too many lower level coaches see the guys screaming on tv, but never see the relationship building that allows them to get to that point. Lombardi was a hard ass, but they all respected him. To this day his players will still call him Mr. Lombardi or Coach Lombardi. The hating practice doesn't work if you don't feel the guy has your back too and is trying to make you better.
This is a one day shot. Negative feedback from the SEAL isn't necessary for the purpose of this exercise, but it would be there in spades if this was anything other than a non-military team building exercise.
I appreciate what Hoke and his staff are trying to do with this exercise and hope that it becomes another great Michigan tradition.