Coach Blog

True Praise

False Praise: Excessive praise, which is often insincere and sometimes contrived to win favor.

We have heard that term before. In fact, in many ways it fueled a failed self-esteem movement. Contrived praise or insincere flattery is nothing more than contrived insincerity. And our kids know it.

True Praise: Positive comments for an effort or action well done.

In coaching the difference between false and true praise is the difference between ludicrous and learning.

Kids keep score so to pretend otherwise is ludicrous. Kids know the difference between success and failure so to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. Kids can smell insincerity like a dog smells fear.

Learning, however, is not ludicrous at all. 

Positively reinforcing an effort well done is a sincere attempt to promote learning. Praising a child for a specific action well done is an authentic attempt to embed learning.

What does this look like, or better said, what does it sound like?

“Paco, by positioning yourself wide you opened space nicely.”

“Kaia, by scanning you found that passing lane. Well done.”

“Bobby, you pressed quickly on transition, brilliant.”

“Cristina, I could hear you organize the defense, keep that up.”

Kids deserve praise.

The right kind of praise. 

False praise, not so much. True praise, yes. 

There are so many errors in football so the temptation to focus upon them is seductive. But there are an equal number of amazing things happening right before our eyes. If we are looking for it. 

Can we catch our kids doing something well today? 

Let’s try. 

Reprinted with kind permission from Todd Beane

Founder of TOVO Training and TOVO Academy Barcelona. In TOVO Training, Beane has combined proven pedagogical practices of experts in the field of education with the visionary components of a total football legend into a dynamic and practical training methodology.

Christchurch United FC is rethinking Talent Development with TOVO Academy Barcelona which is regarded the best holistic program in Europe for players aiming to excel in football and beyond.

"Training extraordinary educators and crazy good coaches." - Todd Beane

Todd Beane