Hustle Number 20

I received an email from a visitor questioning parents referring to players by number instead of name. For example, a parent yelled out “hustle number 20”. Another parent advised that it is rude to refer to players by number. Players should always be referred to by name.

Referring to players by name or number will probably depend on how new the parents are to the team. It would be great for parents to refer to players by name as opposed to number, but that may take some time. Instead, they could be generic and not mention a name or number at all. Just say “good hustle”. However, I think the more important aspect here is the issue of positive feedback.

Phrases such as “hustle”, “run faster”, “make a better pass”, etc come across as negative and discourage a player. Coaches, parents, players, and fans should never put down or discourage each other. We are there to encourage and be positive.

In my article “Meet The Parents“, I advise coaches to:

“Tell parents to be supportive before, during, and after a practice or game. Of course, they will cheer for their own child, but they should also cheer for the rest of the team, as well as the opposing team. They must always think positive when cheering. Use positive statements like “nice pass”, “great shot”, or “good hustle”. Never put a player down for making a mistake.”

The coach may want to speak with parents, especially before the season begins, to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

What do you think? Please feel free to leave comments.