Watching kids fail is hard. It happens to me every day I teach. Some failures are inspiring. They are outmatched in size or skill and are doing great even though they are losing. Other failures are nails on a chalk board. They should know better, you have explained this before etc…
Watching kids fail is a master skill of a coach. As a coach, there is a constant process of separating the performance of your students from your own ego. Students are a reflection of their teacher but my kids are not me. They are them, and I am on the outside trying to exert influence. They are the ones backing up the car and I am the one waving them on.
When we see failure, its a natural thing to want to correct it. We know exactly what they need to be doing. Correction is a part of the job. But failure is a great teacher, and its important to not interfere. Kids need to feel the weight of an incorrect choice for themselves. Interrupting that process is mistake.
When I am on the mats with my students, I feel so connected to them and the heart of what we are building. I want everyone to get it. I want everyone to win. But I have developed the ability to watch a kid hit their head against the wall as many times as they need to in order to be better.
Some kids need are failing because they need more reps.
Some kids are failing because they are not respecting the input other people are trying to give them.
Some kids are failing because they are out of their depth. All of these require different responses but the deep abiding patience to wait on them in their process is what makes a good coach.
I can’t force a plant to grow, I can water and place it sun light and pull it from the cold. But the internal process is out of my hands. I can only observe and hope and be excited for the good days and encouraging on the bad ones.