Taking responsibility and finding ways to improve team performance is entirely different from taking responsibility and repeatedly making the same mistake. Saying that it is your bad doesn’t make it better. We’ve all been coaching for years and know it’s your bad. Furthermore, anyone who has been playing the sport for more than twenty minutes should know it’s your bad.
The phrase has become cursory and trite like cocktail party conversation; on some teams, it is as incessant as a broken record. Coaches don’t say that it is their bad when the bench is uncomfortable.
David Frost: President Nixon, do you regret the invasion of Cambodia which may have triggered the militarization of the Khmer Rouge?
Richard Nixon: My bad.
Self-evaluation is an important part of mental training and the first step to serious improvement. But self-evaluation without follow-up is nothing. Serious people take steps to improve every day.
Coaches should help players realize that there is a problem, show them how to identify ways to correct it, and plan practices with quality repetition at high intensity. There are limits to what coaching can accomplish (extrinsic motivation). Players should buy into the process (intrinsic motivation), instead of putting another coat of primer on a cracked foundation by saying that it’s their bad. Of course it is and it is also their bad that they aren’t taking initiative to get better.