COACHES CORNER: TWO FOR TUESDAYS ~ The Top 10 Lessons I Learned As A Coach

15 Jan

Five Weeks – Two Lessons Each Week


Although though this post is geared toward coaching, if readers will tweak it to their own circumstances, it’s pretty relevant to parenting and teaching, as well.

 3.      FAVOR THOSE WHO FAVOR YOU: I’ve never been much of a believer of treating everyone equally unless everyone is acting equally, which doesn’t usually happen. So, I think it’s important that your kids know that when they are following the rules, living the expectations and behaving as serious student athletes, things will run smoothly and they’ll be treated with respect. If you’re a good coach, you will also let them know that everyone messes up once in a while.

If a kid who is almost always on time and giving 100% happens to have an off day or is late or whatever, you might just let it slide. However, if a kid who has been late or disrespectful or zoning out continues to mess up, the consequence might be a bit more impactful – sitting out a game, a round, a competition or losing some kind of important privilege.

The challenge for the coach is to understand and accept that even though all kids will disappoint you and mess up at some point, we will continue to believe that they will learn from their mistakes, live up to the challenge of being on a productive team and move from the category of messing around or messing up to favoring you, her teammates and ultimately herself.

4.     YOU CAN SAY ALL THE RIGHT THINGS, BUT IF YOU DON’T WALK YOUR TALK, DON’T HAVE RESPECT FOR YOUR TEAM OR HAVE INTEGRITY, YOUR ATHLETES WILL NOT RESPECT YOU:  I’ve seen so many coaches say all the right things to their teams about being good student athletes, honoring their teammates and commitments, having integrity, putting competition in perspective and being good, fair and kind competitors. What great lessons!

It all sounds perfect until said coach bashes the judges, talks poorly about the coach down the road, reams a kid out in a belittling way or expects the impossible and is generally miserable and mean at practice.

My view? These are adults who haven’t quite yet been able to separate their own self-worth from that of their athletes. Or adults who forget that kids are looking to them and seeing whether they would like to emulate them. Or not. (Usually not.) You see, kids get it – they know when we’re behaving badly and not acting like adults.

I would hope that every coach that ever signs a contract to work with kids, does so knowing that those kids are hoping for a mentor and leader who can help them clarify their goals and contemplate their adulthood. In other words – they look to us as someone they either want to be just like or someone they never want to turn out like. Let’s not let them down.

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