"Correct, Don't Criticize" by Tony Dungy
“For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” – Proverbs 3:12 (NLT)
When I first worked toward becoming a head coach, people wondered if I could do it. I wasn’t the type to yell. I wasn’t the type to get in people’s faces. They didn’t know if I could control the players. How would they respond to my coaching style? My style relies on motivation, encouragement, and teaching. I want to help people get better. Correction is not about tearing people down. It’s about helping them improve.
Certain things need to be done a certain way and aren’t negotiable. The punishment is already set. But if a rule is a broken and you have to correct, it’s best to avoid sharp criticisms and instead discipline with love. Jesus corrected by telling stories. He showed examples. He didn’t just say, “This is wrong and this is right.” When He corrected His disciples, they walked away understanding that it was for their benefit.
As a society, we need to develop young people that are correctable. Youth are sometimes difficult to correct because of the way they’ve received correction in the past. Building relationships takes time and patience.
But when we follow Jesus’ model of correction and avoid the temptation to criticize, we are better able to build long-lasting relationships and increase our influence over those within our care.
What are some things that you can do to become less critical and more encouraging as a coach?
Hebrews 12:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Father, thank you for loving me and helping me grow through correction. Help me to model Jesus’ style of correction to those I teach and influence. Amen.