Please join me for a fun series. My mission, and I’ve chosen to accept it, is to write a post based on each letter of the alphabet. The English major inside of me is very excited about this project…and my inner nerd is even more fired up! Keep checking back as I tackle the intangibles of sport…from A to Z.
We know that we’ve got to be effective in practice and on game day…I’m sure at the beginning of our coaching careers, we all thought that was all we had to worry about! Then we learned the truth, there’s more to coaching than the X’s and O’s.
On the surface, these topics may seem awfully close to tangibles…don’t worry, I can find the intangibles in the most concrete subject! Let’s look at six areas where we must be able to carry our weight as coaches.
6 areas that require effectiveness from coaches
Recruiting. Whether you’re a high school or college coach, recruiting will be your team’s life blood. Having a well thought out coaching philosophy is essential in order to recruit new student-athletes onto your team. Why do you do what you do? What do you expect to accomplish? What skills should your student-athletes expect to receive after their time with you is complete? Knowing the answers to these questions will help your current players be advocates for you with their future teammates. Check out this post: The 1 Thing You Need To Be A More Effective Recruiter.
Athletes. As those NCAA commercials tell us often, most of our athletes aren’t going to be professional athletes. So why should they play? If the only goal is to become a professional at the sport and we’re telling them ahead of time that more than likely they won’t be…what’s the point? I’d say that the intangibles they receive from sport are invaluable! They learn to win and lose with grace, leadership, deal with various personality types, they’re high achievers, they understand how to put other folk’s interest ahead of their own. That sounds great, right? Check out this post: 5 Reasons Why Athletes Are More Prepared For The Real World.
Administration. As coaches, we have to advocate for our players, our teams, and our programs. That Advocacy will require us to do our homework. Do the other teams in your conference have full-time assistants and you only have a part-timer? Does your team travel in vans while the other teams get fancy wifi busses? Does your locker room look like an middle school disaster while other teams have rooms with gorgeous wood-paneled lockers and big screen tv’s? Are your facilities comparable with your competitors? These are all conversations we should have with our administrators. Check out this post about what administrators should want for their departments.
Alumni. Alums are not only powerful because they have the loot, but because they have a voice with our institution’s leadership. They’re the folks that can put in a good (or bad) word about us as the coach and the direction our programs are going. They can also be a resource for us. Are you playing in a big game against an old rival? How about asking your alumni to email the team about their recollections of their days on the court against that team? Our alums want to help and to be involved, let’s give them space to do that! Check out this post: The Making Connections Series: Alumni.
Faculty. I think it’s pretty important that faculty respect what our athletes do every day in our gyms and on our fields. These athletes choose our school not only for the great education that they’d receive, but also because they’d be able to compete athletically…that gives athletics an importance on campus that we don’t always feel. Creating relationships with a few faculty members can go a long way to creating good will between academics and athletics. Check out this post for more: The Making Connections Series: Campus.
Balance. Finally, let’s show our teams that we can do our jobs with a bit of balance. Of course there’ll be times when we’re in the office late making calls or watching video, but wouldn’t it be nice if because our athletes watched us…they wanted to coach? If we can show them that we’re still able to work out, or knit, or hunt, or make dinner for the family, or whatever it is that we like to do…wouldn’t that be an awesome display of work/life balance for our teams? Check out this post: How To Take Care Of Yourself And Give The Best To Your Team.
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