When it comes to playing pro, pro scouts pay a lot of attention to character.

As we’ve mentioned before, character is broken down into two categories: personal and football character.

Two-time AP NFL Coach of the Year Bill Parcells. (ICON Sports)

When evaluating your football character, scouts will investigate how well you respond to coaching.

Related: Character Counts: Three Tips to Passing NFL Team’s Character Assessment

And who better to ask, than your current coach?

In case you didn’t know, scouts will ask your coaches about you, so it’s in your best interest to avoid getting on your coach’s bad side as much as you can.

Note: Even though the title of this article says this is about dealing with “bad coaches,” understand that this advice doesn’t just apply to players with “bad coaches,” it applies to players that have a hard time dealing with coaches yelling at them as well.

Related: Bet You Didn’t Know NFL Scouts Look for Some of this Stuff…

Defining “Being Coachable”

Part of being coaches, is being able to deal with harsh criticism in the right way.

Now granted, some coaches can get downright nasty, but you have to know how to deal with it.

Otherwise, when scouts come on campus and they get a feeling (or your coach tells them) that you can’t handle coaching, it could be detrimental to your draft stock.

Now obviously, the level of impact this factor puts on your draft stock depends on the team.

But if you want to play on Sundays one day, why not have as much going for you as you can?

So let’s talk about a few things you can do to handle the situation better the next time coach gets in your face and yells at you in practice.


“Chew on the Meat and Spit out the Bones”

This is a phrase one of my mentors used to say when it comes to taking constructive criticism.

What it means, is to take what can benefit you from what’s being said, and throw away the trash that won’t benefit you.

Once the sting of the way coach is talking to you wears off, dig through what he said, and ask yourself, “What did he say that was valid?

“Outside of the fact that he was yelling at me at the top of his lungs and embarrassed me, what did he say that I should really take heed to?”


Respond…  Carefully

One thing I used to do sometimes when I got yelled at in practice, or embarrassed in the film room by my position coach, was respond.

Related: Secrets to Getting the Most out of Your Football Film Study

But never if I was mad, because it would show.

Sometimes saying something like, “hey coach, you’re right, my bad.  I’m working on it,” will help, but sometimes it will just cause him to jump back on your case and say, “Well I’m tired of hearing that you’re working on it!  Get it right!”

Regardless of how he responds, as long as you really meant what you said, it shows your coach that you respond well to coaching.

It also shows them that they can’t control you mentally and press your buttons by yelling at you.

If things escalate to the point where your response triggers an even worse reaction from your coach, just leave it alone.

The last thing you want to do is piss coach off even more.


The Player/Coach Relationship

The truth of the matter, is that he’s a coach, and you’re the player, so you have to be able to contain yourself.

They have your career on that team in their hands to a certain degree.

One of the worse things you can EVER do is get into a shouting match with a coach; that’s a guaranteed way to land in the dog house, and sometimes permanently.

It’s just not worth it.  It’s a battle that you will never win.

Unless of course, you’re a star player in the NFL, but that’s another conversation for another day.

Click here for part two, which will be available in about a week.


What other advice would you give a player who has to deal with a yelling coach?


Follow me on Twitter!  @alvingrier

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Reference web pages:

How to Deal with Stinging Criticism (courtesy of lateralaction.com)

7 Effective Ways to Deal With Criticism (courtesy of lifehack.org) 

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