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Wednesday, July 16, 2014


It's not the first time I've raved about the email newsletter that comes from Coach Mitch Cole and the Texas A&M men's basketball staff and I'm sure it won't be the last.  It's not that their right across the hall from us but because it's great stuff!  If you haven't already, email Coach Cole at and asked to be added.

Here is part of what they sent out yesterday:

Often times as coaches, being intentional about team building and leadership development can get lost in the shuffle. Most coaches would agree that a healthy team is one that consists of strong, confident leaders and players that are willing to sacrifice for one another. If we look closely and study our players, we will usually find some unhealthy traits that can be a detriment to their growth as players and ultimately, the success of THE TEAM.

Recently I came across an article that revealed several “Toxic behaviors that drive people away." I have reworked them into a basketball context because as you will see, they definitely apply to some of the players with whom we all come in contact.
Below are an explanation of the first 3 of 7 behavior traits coaches might find in players which need to be exposed and addressed: 

1. Blame-Shifting and Excuse Making
- Inability to take personal responsibility for failures or problems. Its always someone else's fault!

-“Coach just isn’t using my talents”.

- “The coach, the Refs, or my teammates cost us the game”.

 - “If we had ____________ we wouldn’t have this problem.”

Solution: Instead of pointing the finger, we need to change our thinking into: What can I do to change the situation? How can we fix the problem? Learn to take personal responsibility for problems and control what we can control.

2. Constant Negativity
-Always seeing the negative in every situation. Negative “self talk”.

-Never giving praise where praise is due. Nothing is ever good enough. Discontent.

 -Being an “energy sucker” through your words and body language.

Solution: Train yourself to have positive thoughts about people and situations. Embrace the challenge of “turning a negative into a positive.” Acknowledge good when you see it. Identify an enthusiastic, positive person and imitate them!

3. Taking Everything Personally
- Inability to handle confrontation, conflict, or criticism of any kind.

-“Coach, teammates just don’t like me”

-“Coach always singles me out”

Solution: Learn the mantra, “Its not all about me!” View constructive criticism and conflict as a way to eliminate mistakes and grow. If enough coaches, teachers or teammates tell you the same thing, you might want to acknowledge your fault, and CHANGE!

We’ll address the rest of these behaviors in the coming weeks:

4. Victim Mentality

5. Emotional Reactivity

6. Tearing Others Down

7. Constant Need for Validation

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