How Should We Define Success In Coaching?

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Sometimes social media gets a bad rap for being a time sucker, which it can be. But most times, I find good stuff there.  Whether it be a good leadership article, a timely motivational quote, or (like this time) a great tweet from team building expert Jeff Janssen.

How can we be successful coaches?  Or maybe a better way to put it is how can we measure, at the end of the season or school year, that we’ve been successful?  Janssen has some ideas.

9 requirements of success:

  1. Purpose: Why do you coach? As I mentioned in my another post, loving the sport isn’t your purpose (it’s your passion)…why do you coach? Why do you have player meetings?  And stress about your practice plans? Why do you watch so much film? What is my why?  I believe that athletics creates better humans (I’m biased, I know) and I believe us coaches equip our athletes with the tools they’ll need to make the world a better place and I’m honored to have a part in it.
  2. Passion: Do you love your sport? Is there a fire in your bones for it?  Then that will translate over to your players and they’ll be infected by your zeal.
  3. Perspiration: I feel like this is obvious, but you should be working hard, Coach. Like, really hard.  You’ve got to work hard to create relationships with your players.  You’ve got to work hard to know the different personalities on your team and how to motivate them.  You’ve got to work hard to keep your team chemistry balanced.
  4. Plan: How will you handle the inevitable quarrels between teammates? How will you handle having to bench a starter?  How will you prepare your team to be clutch at the end of a competition?  How will you make sure they’re ready for post-season?
  5. Patience: Can you wait for your “potential player” to bloom? Can you try different ways of teaching your leaders how to lead? Can you trust the process?
  6. Persistence: I think it’s a great idea to write down your coaching goals. That way, when you hit the inevitable speed bump, you won’t be moved.
  7. People: Coaches don’t succeed alone. We need mentors and assistants.  We need recruits to buy into what we’re saying.  We need families who support the coaching staff in the background.  We need an administration who’ll advocate for us.
  8. Principles: Do you want to be a win-at-all-costs coach? Do you want to sacrifice your values in order to win more games?  I think a coach’s goal should be to win with honor.
  9. Perspective: My guess is our definition of success will change as we grow as coaches, as we gain a bit more life experience, and as we’re humbled by our profession.

It’s hard to feel successful.  It requires a lot of work.  Let’s get ready to put the effort in so that we can be whatever our version of success looks like!