Recently whilst on my daily morning walk along the Yarra river I heard a female rowing coach ‘bark’ at a young female rower…you have real talent, don’t waste it!

I could not but over react to that (negativity) and the implied adverse reaction for the future of her rowing from the young rower.

why do coaches feel they have to speak like that to be effective communicators?;

for me the lesson from that river experience was to reinforce how I prefer to instill a sense of worth and value into the person, the bowler, I coach.

All of the women I coach have ‘real talent’, though in the case of one of them, I say to her …you are graceful bowler, a talented bowler, enjoy that feel of gracefulness, revel in that talent being enjoyed and developed;


Not surprisingly these bowlers win championships, most rewarding.


In bowls, if we were effective as coaches we would jump on and retrain those players who do all and any of the following as it reeks of negative communication:

ؠ Negative verbals as an outcome of a poor delivery

ؠ Negatives/ hesitant calls seen as instructions

ؠ Information (the score at the head) seen as instruction

ؠ Information overload in the call

ؠ Information call with contradictions (to recipient)

ؠ Body language deplorable reeks of negativity

ؠ Body language lethargic displays disinterest

ؠ And where the skip takes themself onto the bank away from the head tells me they are disinterested, have little regard for you as a team member

ؠ Body language of team walking to the head tells the story, strut the stuff troops

ؠ Balance loud self criticism with balance self praise or else just shut up, and, perform


Such negative communications act as barriers that stifles progress in we bowlers- old habits die hard. Coaches have a role to play here to improve these skills. And be conscious of their own communication skill.


Lachlan Tighe, July 2013