Positive Coaching is a nonprofit, whose mission is to educate and encourage positive attitudes and behavior in all athletic endeavors by coaches, parents, administrators, media, and players.
Deaf athletes hurdle barriers, achieve goals in college sports By Robert Klemko, USA TODAY
TOWSON, Md. - In a Towson University football team meeting room filled with more than 60 players and a dozen coaches, linebacker Ryan Bonheyo makes a sign for the word "slow," then points at the whole bunch.
Everybody laughs; Bonheyo just grins.
His coaches say he has to toughen up, which doesn't make him different from any other wide-eyed freshman player. Except that Bonheyo was born deaf.
Last year, 76 deaf and hard-of-hearing students played NCAA and NAIA sports, according to Deaf Digest Magazine, and 39 played in Division I. That does not account for those who do not wish to be identified. Those figures have steadily risen since the 1973 Rehabilitation Act mandated interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing students at universities and provided against discrimination based on disability.
For players such as Bonheyo, the challenge is to compete at the highest level on an inherently unlevel playing field. It's a journey that began this fall for Ryan and continues for Emily Cressy, a soccer player at Kansas, and Purdue's Felicia Schroeder, who helped the U.S. women's soccer team win a gold medal Monday in the Deaflympics in Taiwan.
For some, the allure of competition trumps the fear of disappointment. "This is the biggest challenge of my life," Bonheyo says. "I know I can do it. "
Use the acronym: S.M.A.R.T.
Specific--Make your goal(s) very defined (rebounding - offence, defense or both)
Measurable--Have real statistical goal(s) that are easy to understand (rebounds per game as a
Attainable--Your goal(s) should be reached within a short period of time (5 more rebounds per
game for the next three games)
Realistic--Are your expectations for your goal(s) within reach of your athlete or team. (do
know the next opponents capabilities)
Timely--Is this the right goal(s) for your athlete/team to gain momentum. (will improving
rebounding improve the strength or weakness of your team/athlete?)
Remember: You can't improve what you don't measure!
|"Tip of the Month"
"Failing to plan is planning to fail!"
Tom Van Buskirk
A Word from the Coach
Performance vs. Outcome Goals
I have coached for over 25 years and have not been failed by the following formula on how to build a winning program (note: these and other methods can be found through our online coaching clinics and programs available at www.positivecoaching.org).
It's all about the difference between Outcome versus Performance Goals.
Coaches have little to no control over Outcome goals. Have you ever had a team that no matter what, they won? My wife and I were co-coaching a basketball team of 7th and 8th grade girls like this.
We made it to the finals for the city championship in our home gym. As my wife and I entered our gym, the two officials assigned to our game made joking comments about the championship game, recalling how we'd been victorious over the team we were to play that night twice that season and might the league just give us the championship trophy then and there so we could all go home.
We were in the stands watching the previous game and noticed that only three of 12 of our players who were supposed to be suited and warming up actually was. It was not yet cause for panic, until our school principal questioned us as to where was the rest of the team? I assured her we told our team the correct time for the game. The principal told us she was going to make calls to our teams' parents. She returned with a long face and told us the bad news; our team has come down with chicken pox. We only had three of the five players required to start the game and had to forfeit and accept a second place trophy. This was an Outcome goal; a goal that we have little or no control over.
Performance goals are goals that we do have control over. You can build winning programs with performance goals. I am a basketball coach with an obsession with rebounding. I was coaching a High School team that I had just taken over. It had not won a game the previous year. We needed to establish a goal that would be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely or S.M.A.R.T. I gave the team a goal of getting six more rebounds during the next two games as they had the previous game, a total of eighteen rebounds. This was a challenge that I knew they could reach. In order to reach the team goal, the coaching staff focused on teaching the skills necessary for rebounding. I gave the parents fliers to understand our goals and a little score sheet so they'd understand that we are building skills and not to focus on the outcome, the final score.
We reached our goal in rebounding. The next year we had a .550 team. This was the product of using performance goals to build a winning program.
As coaches we can control Performance goals. If we dwell on Outcome goals, the ones we have little or no control over, we will become distracted from our coaching duties and eventually burn out. At Positive Coaching we want to help you avoid this by keeping you, the good coaches, in the game!