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12.18.2013

Constructive Criticism



Barry Hinson just gave a great interview on Jay Mohr Sports. He apologized for calling his athletes out by name, but he wouldn't apologize for the rest of it, and I give him credit for his stance. In the interview with Mohr, he talks about a lack of accountability among his athletes, and an inability for them to take criticism. Every time he tries to correct a bad behavior, or introduce them to something new via analogies or stories, these young people roll their eyes at him. They're too apathetic to be bothered, according to Coach Hinson.

It was interesting to hear him talk about communication as well. He stated that he thought texting and e-mail communication has created an environment in which digital natives have a hard time dealing with confrontation. His point is that, when he has something to say, or an issue to contend, he just makes a phone call or schedules a meeting.

I can relate to his points, but I do think it was a mistake to single out an athlete on the air. After his rant went live on SportsCenter, one of his athletes let him have it on Twitter. He later deleted the tweet, but that's a good example of how difficult communication can be between the coach and his athletes in the digital era. Dashing off a quick tweet is just too immediate, and it doesn't take any formulation of an actual argument. It's merely reactionary, and it has zero rhetorical value at all when one just deletes it a few hours after pressing "send." 

I like Coach Hinson and I applaud him for his passion to compete and his implementation of tough standards. It's an important lesson for these coddled college students to learn--life is filled with challenging expectations and interpersonal conflict, and Coach Hinson is going the extra mile to help prepare these athletes to meet those challenges.

Oh, and as I write this, Coach Hinson is just killing it in terms of positive audience reaction. I think there is a real thirst in this country for the kind of tough correction methods that Coach Hinson is bringing to this SIU hoops squad. These are adults, not kids...they need to step up and accept criticism when they under perform, skip practice, and refuse to take coaching... 

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