I was watching my beloved Seahawks yesterday and as always, I catch the Mike Holmgren show after Sunday Night Football and I was really impressed and struck with something that he said during the show. I'll set the context for you, the Seahawks were pinned at the 5 yard line close to their own endzone, 4th and 8. They needed a decent kick from Ryan Plackemeier to hold off the Cardinals for the half. The snap is good, but Plackemeier shanks one off his foot and it goes 21 yards OB. If any of you have watched Mike Holmgren, you know he is one intimidating dude, someone you do not want to cross. Clearly, the punt was a disaster, the Cardinals setup at the Seahawks 25 yard line and would punch one in before the half. You would've thought Holmgren would've gone ballistic, but he exercised restraint and just left it alone. Here is what coach Holmgren had to say about it afterwards (volume is low so you have to turn it up),

Now, I can say that I honestly believe that Holmgren was very upset by the kick. I can just imagine that in his mind he is about to absolutely lose it. He could've chewed out Ryan, but he didn't, he just walked away. He realized that Ryan is a young guy, that he's going to have some bumps, and that you just have to let it go sometimes. In situations like that, it's sometimes better to walk away, leave your emotions to yourself. Obviously Ryan knew it was a big mistake, he's trying, leave it be, talk about it later in the week.

Now, back to basketball, I was watching a girls game the other day. There is a big local tournament called the HSBC Classic to kickoff the season. I won't name the teams, but there was one team where one of the players was just having a hard time with the pressure defense in the first half. She turned it over a few times in a row trying to dribble through the traps. The coach pulls her out of the game and goes into a 2 minute animated tirade, arms flying and all. The girl was clearly upset and she finished out the game sitting alone at the end of the bench, towel over her head, crying her eyes out. I happen to know about this girl because she's a good player and in the papers every so often. She's just a sophomore playing varsity and well, varsity is a lot tougher than JV.

I guess what I'm saying is, please coaches, exercise some restraint. I know that as coaches, we all have expectations, pressures, we all strive for perfection both of ourselves and our players, but there's nothing worse than shattering a young person's confidence. Confidence is a fragile thing, it's precious, don't attack it, cherish it, built it up, be patient with it. As the saying goes, if you don't have something positive to say, don't say it at all. Just walk away and let your emotions simmer for a while.