Surprisingly, you could tell the coach’s favorite by who they rode the most in practice. Who they singled out for extra sprints, or extra rounds. A coach’s favorite was the one who had to run until he puked while the other kids stood around the side of the room glad they weren’t called out.
You could really tell a coach cared when an athlete had a poor performance and the coach was genuinely disappointed. There was no “good try” or “A for effort!” Just genuine disappointment.
I see this every day in the real world, too. If you’re someone who works and cares about your professional growth, you’re lucky if you have a boss, mentor, or superior who pulls you into his office and takes the time to tell you everything you’re doing wrong and how you can get better so you can contribute more and hopefully move successfully to the next phase of your life.
On the flip side, you probably feel a little empty if you have a boss who is either just annoying or worse – they don’t really say much about what you do - good or bad - and you just feel like you could disappear and no one would notice your work is not being done.
When I look at a lot of clients and their dogs, I think about this crushing weight of low expectations.