The other day I was coaching on a court next to another pro. This pro used to be a top junior and collegiate player, so he obviously can play the game. But just because someone can play doesn’t mean they can coach, does it?

In education, there are many intelligent individuals, but does that mean they are great teachers? The answer is no.

From my court, I heard a mis-hit, a ball off the frame of the racquet, by one of this coach’s students. There’s nothing wrong with that. But then I heard the coach yell, “Great shot!”

I looked over to see who he was talking to, and sure enough, he was talking to the boy who made the error.

It’s important to be positive, but it has to be real. You can’t just say “Great shot!” for the sake of saying it. That doesn’t help the student. As coaches, perhaps we can change that and say, “Great swing, but make sure you watch the ball longer next time,” to maximize our students’ improvement.

I have a business partner who tells me how it is, regarding our projects, whether I want to hear it or not. Most people don’t like hearing the truth, especially if it hurts. But guess what? I love hearing the truth. I would rather hear it and learn from it than have someone just telling me what I want to hear in order to make me feel good.

And parents, focus less on telling your children how beautiful they are and start telling them how proud you are of their effort and constant improvement.

That’s how winners are made.

But that’s just my opinion.

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