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Encouraging Wrong Decisions

When given the opportunity to make a decision I think it goes without saying that we generally are looking to make the right choice. I would consider that a "good decision". When we make the incorrect choice that could be considered a "bad decision".

But there is one more category that I believe to be a major deterrent of growth and that is indecision.

Before we dig into that, let's talk about growth and what drives it.

I am a huge believer that a "trial and error mindset" can drive growth. Whether it be on the court as a player, on the sidelines as a coach or even in the office running a business, trying something provides you with the opportunity to learn. After completion of the task or rep you get to ask yourself, "Did that work?"

If the answer is yes then you work to figure out how to do it again. If the answer is no then it is up to you to fix it or find a better solution. Ultimately, you will not know until you have tried.

As coaches we are looking to provide our players with feedback. We need to be effective and efficient communicators in describing what they are doing well and where they can improve.

So let's talk about indecision.

I would say the vast majority of players are driven in some capacity by fear. Some more than others. That fear can be a positive as it acts as a catalyst that leads them to success or that fear can cause them to hesitate when it comes to making decisions.

Indecision in the decision making process is where growth stops, and here's why.

When a player becomes indecisive both the player and coach get inaccurate feedback or even none at all. Let me explain.

Let's say Josh is on the right wing and is going to be receiving a pass from his teammate at the top of the key. In this situation Josh's defender is going to be closing out at him. This is where the decision making process starts. Realistically Josh has four choices and he needs to choose one ASAP:

  1. Drive right

  2. Drive left

  3. Shoot

  4. Pass

But when Josh catches the pass he hesitates, leaving him with nothing.

As a coach, what feedback am I supposed to give him about his decision making when he didn't actually make a decision?

This is where indecision hurts a player. I would rather that player make a quick decision AND BE WRONG than to not make a decision at all.

Not making a decision removes the opportunity for feedback, while making an incorrect but quick decision gives both the coach and the player an opportunity to learn.

Failure is a part of the game. It's actually a HUGE part. The best are able to use that failure as a way to learn and improve. In all honesty, sometimes failure can be a better catalyst for growth than success can.

Encourage wrong decisions over indecision.


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