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

22 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.

5.       YOU CAN’T ALWAYS MAKE A DIFFERENCE: I hate having to tell coaches and teachers this…there are times when no matter what you do to reach out to a kid, no matter how much you believe in her, no matter how many opportunities you give him, you just can’t seem to make a difference. Unfortunately, as coaches and teachers, we can’t go home with each of our kids. We can’t make sure that they are being treated with kindness or even loved. We can’t undo years of treatment or behavior from their parents that leave them shut down or distrusting. It’s sad, hard to understand, but true.

What we CAN do is give them all the love and support that every child deserves, every time they are in our charge. We can treat them with respect and attempt to gain their trust by being a dependable, competent role model. And then? Who knows…if we leave the door open and imprint our belief in them on them, they may break free from whatever or whomever is holding them back and blossom into fine, happy, connected adults.

So the even bigger lesson here is to try to look beyond the attitudes and disappointments of our kids and see what’s driving their resistance to be either a good team member, concentrate on the task at hand or shutting them down.

We can’t always make a difference but we can and we must always try.

6.      DISCIPLINING KIDS AND KEEPING RULES AND STANDARDS IS HARD: If yelling at or disciplining your team ever feels good, it’s time for you to get out. Even the most seasoned coaches should feel their hearts pounding and their palms sweating when they have to bench a kid or otherwise reprimand an athlete. Ultimately, the goal of every coach is to make things run so smoothly and have such dedicated athletes that handing out tough consequences becomes unnecessary.

In the meantime, great coaches expect great things quietly and firmly. Great coaches provide all the tools and resources needed to help athletes both physically and mentally so that each and every team member wants to be part of a great and giving team and behaves and trains accordingly.

How to instill that discipline in each kid and enforce rules is tricky. It begins with a thorough commitment on the part of the athlete and her family. Mandatory meetings, rules up front and signed contracts help everyone to stay on the same page and understand what’s expected.

Even more important, is for the coach to remain positive, professional, structured and passionate when running practice, reinforcing team rules and creating an environment where athletes and their families thrive and clamor to be part of something dynamic and successful.

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