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Mana Enhancing Feedback

Do you enjoy drawing / doing art? The number of adults out there who say ‘I’m useless at drawing’ or ‘I can’t draw’ is stifling. When you unpack why adults have limiting beliefs such as this, it’s often due to an experience they’ve had with a primary school teacher or prominent adult figures in their lives, who may have said something like ‘that’s rubbish’ or ‘you’re not that arty are you’ or ‘what is that?’

As coaches, the comments we make can impact the lives of young people. Our players will look to us for reassurance, confidence and to know they are on the right track. One throw away comment can really dent the confidence of a young person, so let’s consider how we as coaches can offer feedback that enhances, rather than depletes mana.

If we deplete mana, we will likely say things like ‘you’re no good’ or ‘you always drop the ball’ or ‘come on porkchop’ or ‘you never listen.’ Comments such as these will work to strip confidence. It is an attack on ego, physical appearance, talent etc…

If we enhance mana we say things like ‘you’ll get it next time,’ or ‘keep giving it a go’ or ‘I like how you are trying so hard’ or ‘what do you think we could do next time’ or ‘how can I help you?’ These comments work to uplift a young person, as there is a sense of care.

Our role as coaches is to help our players see possibilities, to build their confidence and provide feedback that will help them. So let’s work to provide mana enhancing feedback. The great thing is, it doesn’t cost us anything.


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