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Why Understanding Our Athletes' Mistakes can help Create a more Effective Learning Environment

I think George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, once said: “A life spent making mistakes is not only most honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing". Allowing our athletes the opportunity to make mistakes without fear of consequences is probably one of the most important things we do as coaches. Creating that ‘no fear’ environment is crucial to creating an effective learning environment. If our athletes don’t make mistakes they won’t learn and achieve their potential! What is important is that coaches and athletes understand that not all mistakes are the same. They are not all created equal and they are not always desirable! Our ability to manage and learn from our mistakes is not fixed. Different people will respond differently to different mistakes but by understanding our mistakes better we can better develop our learning. As Henry Ford said: “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing”.

Our members can access the full article in the Coaching Practice section of our Members' Area.

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