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Coach Flop?

Okay… bring it in.  Let’s talk about real life stuff here for a second.  Let’s try to keep in mind that what we Coach… our players apply at home, at school… and of-course, LIFE.

Something that we all try to encourage everyone to have is; empathy.  Basically we want everyone to understand and be aware of  someone else’s situation and circumstances, or maybe more directly put; we don’t want to think of only ourselves.

Empathy defined;


noun em·pa·thy \ ˈem-pə-thē \

: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this

Now that we have a very clear understanding of empathy… we can all say having empathy is a good thing, right?

This brings me to the question asked in the Chalk Talk Facebook Group (to join click here)
Is flopping coached?
If you are not aware of what flopping is… it is the action of deliberately falling or stumbling in order to give the appearance of having been fouled by an opponent. It’s basically a player over… way-way over exaggerating a foul, or a fake foul, appearing to have been injured, or worse!
I have the utmost respect for all athletes. Even the folks I see walking daily that are just trying to lose 2 pounds, or 1oo pounds!  I love to see people exercise, move, work out and participate in ALL sports!  I have empathy for those that might find it hard/difficult, but yet they are out there doing it!  Bravo!
Full disclosure…
I have never played Soccer as an organized sport. I always loved playing it in the back yard or playground. I have been around enough athletes to recognize the dedication, skill, talent and fitness level required for this great game.
Still, there are many that only know soccer by flopping.. and many don’t seem to understand or have empathy for the players that seem to be dying rolling around on the field… when they seem to have been barely touched?
Soccer is not alone in the world of flopping… flopping exist in all of sports, and it seems to be gaining in NBA Basketball…  Yes or No?
Is this something that is being taught/coached? The answer is Yes. (NPR article)
So, are youth being coached to ‘fake’ or ‘lie’?
All of this being said; I am only aware of one sport that has a rule against flopping and a penalty for diving or embellishment.

NHL Hockey:
Rule No. 64.1  for  Diving / Embellishment – Any player who blatantly dives,
embellishes a fall or a reaction, or who feigns an injury shall be
penalized with a minor penalty under this rule.
We see real injuries in Hockey where the player doesn’t roll around, or flop on the ice for several spins, or flop’s… most of the time they keep skating? And, I for one… have a great deal of empathy for them.

So…Yes to Rule No. 64.1
As a coach, this rule helps teach player’s that faking an injury will not be tolerated, and is not a behavior to be desired. This rule helps explain the difference between NHL Hockey and The WWE.  It helps explain the difference in needing a band aid or an ambulance.

The model of adult athletes faking anything cannot be something we encourage our youth to apply in their sport… and certainly not in their relationships at home, their job’s, marriage’s… and LIFE.

I still remember mom’s “Rule No. 64.1″.  She told me the story about The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  Worked or me.


Not because you must, but because you are willing


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