People, Participation, Progression, Performance in Hockey

Feedback, how to receive

In any sporting environment it is imperative that you are able to take feedback.

The following piece gives you a quick hit list of how to take feedback whilst maintaining your “cool”, especially as FEEDBACK  can be incredibly difficult to take.

During the research for this process I stumbled across where a lot about feedback has been written – I have adapted their 5R model (as well as some others) to produce what you see here:

This model has 5 steps:

  1. Request
  2. Receive
  3. Reflect
  4. Respond
  5. Resolve

Recipient actions & behaviors

1. Request

Don’t wait for feedback to come to you. Be proactive in asking for it and clearly define what kind of feedback you’re looking for.
Be specific about what you need.

Ideally the coaches create an environment where the players have a slot to request feedback in a non-confrontational manner.

A feedback request to a coach is quite a compliment you are saying I value your opinion and would love you to help me.” It also helps you build a relationship.

2. Receive

  1. Listen attentively avoid closed body language, defensive speech, trying to explain yourself, or responding with criticism of your own, do not interrupt. Say thank you even if it’s tough to hear.
  2. Accept what is said in the way it is offered, and try and handle your emotions offline/offsite, however if something said starts a reaction then it’s fine to say “wow, that’s surprising” or even “wow, that hurts” as long as you also thank them for their candour.
  3. Try and treat the whole thing as a 3rd party experience and be positive otherwise you will not get ANY feedback.
  4. Finally ask questions to ensure you understand the feedback.
1. Your goal is to learn and grow no matter how painful.
2. DO NOT become defensive or dismissive this discourages others from giving you feedback in the future – if you cannot be bothered then why should they bother.

3. Reflect

Avoid rushing the reflection process. Take the time you need to fully process and understand the feedback. Consider its relevance and validity.

Feedback is yours to do with as you see fit or to reject if you do not agree, but whatever you decide DO NOT RUSH choose what you want and act appropriately.

4. Respond

It is now your turn to respond, perhaps seek further info, or discuss your reflections, perhaps pick out an item or 2 to reflect on

Responding shows the coach that you value their feedback. It motivates the coach to help more and more regularly. DO NOT respond without reflecting as a bad response devalues the coach’s effort.

5. Resolve

Down to you – what are you going to do?

  1. Make some decisions about what you are going to do
  2. Create a plan
  3. Share this plan with you coach – this demonstrates your commitment.
    Do something with the info – do not let it die


The Context

In a sporting environment we receive feedback from 3 sources generally.

  1. Self
    Where the player self manages – they “reflect” on their own performance – the most powerful – although perhaps not the most accurate
  2. Peer to peer
    Inter player feedback – the second most powerful however it comes with challenges if the environment is not right.
  3. Coach
    Generally, the most accurate – to be requested

This means everyone needs to give and take so this is a 3 article series below are all the links

  1. Quick actions – recipient
  2. Giver actions – coach 
  3. Why – More info as to how and why

Request icons created by Freepik – Flaticon