Over the weekend I saw a video posted on a coaching page showing a coach’s reaction to a serving error by his team at match point. As the, I’m guessing, 14 year old girl served into the net, the coach fell to the ground as if shot and lay there with outstretched arms. The overall tone of the comments was lighthearted and coach involved justified his actions by saying that it was his way of releasing the pressure on his girls. Given that they were leading 14-7 in the tie break at the time I am not sure exactly what pressure there was but I digress.
All coaches actions and words are messages he sends to his team and to others. By making such a scene the coach is sending one overriding message.
“It is not MY fault.”
Coaches who jump up and down on the sideline and yell at referees and players and even fall over for effect are simply trying to send the message that it is not their fault.
‘I didn’t tell the player to do that.’
‘If the player did what I said we would have won that point.’
‘We won the point but the referee took it away from us.’
And countless variations on the same theme.
What message are you sending?