To: Young coach.
From: Someone who has been in the game for a while.
It’s easy to believe the negative stuff. A player challenges how you teach a skill and you wonder if they’re right, maybe this other coach they had was better than you. A parent is grumping to you about playing time for their kid and you wonder whether you want to listen to that kind of nonsense every season. Another recruit says, “Thanks, but no thanks.” *sigh*
Take a deep breath.
You’re forgetting about the athlete who finally “got it” after doing what you’ve been asking them to do. Or what about that parent who took time to thank you for working with their kid? And remember that game-changer recruit who had you jumping up and down in your living room when they finally said, “Yes.”?
It’s not all bad.
Get better. If you’re not always trying to learn, whether from coaches within your sport or those outside, you’re doomed to stagnation. Stay fresh, keep learning.
Evaluate yourself. At the end of each season, go over everything with a fine tooth comb. Identify areas of success that you can expand upon, as well as areas that just didn’t work and need to be scrapped.
Define culture. Figure out what traits you want your team, and those associated with it (including parents), to have and go about creating that culture.
Be confident. You’re going to make mistakes or make the wrong decision…that doesn’t make you a bad coach. Good coaches learn from those mistakes and decisions and use them to become even better. My guess is that there are a whole lot of championships built upon mountains of mistakes!
So, young coach, believe in yourself. Learn from the bad stuff and don’t forget about the good.
I’m embarking on a series where we reaffirm why we do what we do. Please join me.