Recently, I read “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler). It is the first book in the new All the Wrong Questions series. You may remember the author’s previous book series, the wonderful A Series of Unfortunate Events. The new book chronicles the career beginnings of the 13-year-old Lemony Snicket.
The new series is called All the Wrong Questions for a good reason. The young Snicket, according to his recently appointed chaperone, S. Theodora Markson, is always asking the wrong questions. The book is very entertaining and I recommend it highly, but it also raised a question is my coaching mind:
For a player, teammate, coach, or parent, what are the right questions?
I have been pondering this practical and philosophical question rattling about in my head for the past few weeks. I still don’t have a concrete answer. Maybe it would be beneficial to start with some of the wrong questions and then consider what the right questions may be.
The WRONG Questions
- You lost? Again?
- Why did you strike out?
- Why don’t watch this videotape of your miserable performance with me?
- Do you believe those umpires/referees/officials so bad?
- What in the world was that idiot Coach Hays thinking tonight?
- Can’t you ever do anything right?
- Why didn’t you win?
- What in heaven’s name were you doing out there?
The RIGHT Questions
- Do you enjoy the game?
- Did you give your best?
- Do you feel you prepared yourself properly?
- Are there things you’d do differently?
- Did you get better?
- Are you a good teammate?
- Were you respectful of the game?
Next time you are involved in a sporting event, either as a player, parent, or fan, stick to the RIGHT questions and avoid the WRONG questions. Attempt to promote the sport in a positive manner, win, lose, or draw. I know it is hard, very hard. But I think you will be surprised how much more you can enjoy the sport by sticking to the spirit of the RIGHT questions.