When Your Team Or An Athlete Comes Up Short

In well managed organizations, an Incident, Investigation and Reporting (II&R) protocol is performed when a project, team or employee fails. The II&R isn’t conducted to punish. Instead, it’s to learn and improve – oftentimes on the same project, using the same team of employees.

The Belief: Answers are always more important than blame.

Failure happens in sports, with the focus primarily on teams and athletes. Failure occurs in execution, effort, sportsmanship, preparation, integrity, character or any area that impedes performance, teamwork or growth.

No one believes failure is intentional or planned.

The most crucial time is immediately after failure happens – how it’s addressed, by whom, using which words and where. Athletes emotional, teams are dedicated and coaches think execution. Therefore, reactions are all over the board when breakdowns occur – especially at a critical time.

Practice and preparation overcomes just about anything in sports and competition. The same holds true for managing team and athlete failures. Failure must be prepared for and practiced – like tip off, first serve or pitch and kick-off.

Share these five criteria for addressing failure with teams and athletes, then prepare for and practice how to react to failure.

  • Behavior – athlete or team’s response to failure
  • Leaders – appropriate person for addressing failure
  • Timing – appropriate time or place for “coaching”
  • Magnitude – significance or severity of breakdown
  • Lesson – improvement as a result of the failure

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