How to take care of yourself and give the best to your team

Every coach says the same things to their team:  make sure you’re eating right, be sure to get enough sleep at night, don’t procrastinate on doing your work, etc.  But us coaches are the worst in terms of following our own advice!  We stay at work making calls or watching video a little bit later than we’d planned and end up going to the vending machine and having Doritos for dinner.  We focus so much on our seasons that the project that our athletic director asked us to do a couple of weeks ago still hasn’t been touched.  And on and on it goes…you know the drill.

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If we want to stay in this thing for the long haul, we’ve got to take care of ourselves.  Here are 5 things that I think are essential to avoiding coach burnout.

  1. Workout: figure out a way to get some cardio and strength training in during your season.  It’ll keep you focused and energized.
  2. Personal time: for me, that usually is my workout time.  During the season, we’re so available to our athletes and fans and parents that it can be mentally draining.  Take time to recharge your batteries…whether it’s meditation or prayer or a morning walk.  Make time for yourself.
  3. Have work buddies: we spend the majority of our time at work, so you need someone in the office that you can talk with when you’ve hit the wall, are frustrated, or just have a funny story to tell.  For as much time as we spend at the office (whether it’s your actual office or your gym or court or field), we need to be able to have quality down time at work.
  4. Involve your fam:  my husband comes to all of our home games and we’ll have the team over for dinner sometimes.  It’s good for the team to see that their coach has some sort of balance in their lives and it’s good for your fam to see you in your element.
  5. Enjoy it: I love everything about being in season.  The hard work, being in the gym, the ups, the downs, being tired from the non-stop pace, sweating through my t-shirt in our hot and sticky gym…all of it.  Because I get to do the thing that I love to do.  I love coaching and I love volleyball and this school is willing to pay me to do it.  I think that makes me pretty lucky.

Is there anything that you would add to the list?  What things keep you sane during the season?