Survey Says

I think most people are familiar with the show Family Feud and the phrase “We surveyed 100 people…” While I love this game show, I have not always been enthralled with surveys. As a head coach for Breakthrough Basketball, the parents of players who attend each of my camps have the opportunity to rate me on a scale from 1 to 10 and write comments on different facets of my coaching. When I first started receiving these surveys after camps, I would immediately read them and focus on the comments that suggested room for improvement. I would then mentally discount that person and their comments and determine why I didn’t have to listen to them. After a while, I stopped opening the surveys completely. My logic was since I received mostly positive comments, I would mentally shield myself from the ones suggesting opportunities for growth. If I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Wrong!!

What I finally realized is that I needed to look at these surveys the same way a business looks at customer satisfaction surveys. Businesses give their customers surveys to fill out because they want honest feedback so they can implement systems for improvement. If I never read my surveys, I could never implement my own best practices to grow to become a better coach. Once I started paying attention to every point value and comment on every survey, something amazing happened…I started to improve. I took the comments to heart and determined ways I could better my communication, speak more succinctly, and connect with players on a deeper level. I took action and it showed in my successive surveys. After implementing my systems, I can proudly say that I have achieved my goal of an average survey score of 9.

Another thing I realized while reading the various surveys is that many of the positive comments were the same across the board. This is amazing to me as none of these people had ever met. These are people who live in different states and countries, are different nationalities, are from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and are different ages. But many of them gave the SAME feedback! This lets me know two things: 1. I am who I say I am all the time. Who I am and what I stand for is the same all day, every day. 2. I have successfully developed my own best practices for camps. I have determined my most effective way to reach, coach, and mentor players. This does NOT mean I will stop looking for ways to get better, it just means I can pause to celebrate my achievements. As for future camps, we will see what the survey says…