I’m a big fan of the book, The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle. Because of that, I follow his blog, because I can always find good stuff there. The Best Kind of Coach is a great post that talks about the power of great coaches. Check out his different types while keeping in mind that they all have the potential to be great.
Coyle calls this the “old-school” coach. I had some shut-up-sit-down-do-what-i-say-and-we’ll-win-games coaches in my life. The upside to these types of coaches is the players know where they stand and know exactly what is expected of them. The downside is the players may be afraid of their coach. Also, there’s a rigidity of thought and system with this type.
Coyle calls these Teacher Coaches. I think I’d fall into this category. I always tell my team that my time on the court is over, so they are my chance to keep playing at a high level…by getting the knowledge out of my head and into theirs. When I first got into coaching, I remember calling my old high school coach, who was a behavior coach. Frustrated, I told him that my players had a million questions and wouldn’t just do what I said because I said to do it. He agreed about this new (at the time) generation of athlete and he said that’s why he got out. Now I enjoy explaining the hows and whys of my sport. And I enjoy an athlete who wants to delve deeper into how they can become better.
Coyle says these coaches have an innate ability to see people in ways that they do not see themselves. They do this in three ways: they connect, they communicate their belief, and they work to make that belief come true. I wonder if this is what happens when teams get a new coach and all of a sudden a team that was underachieving turns into a powerhouse. In that situation, there’s clearly more to the story than X’s and O’s. That’s part of it, sure, but what (or who) makes those same players who were losing games believe that they shouldn’t be losing? That they have what it takes to win? And win on a large scale?
I suppose we’d want to be a combination of all of these, in a perfect world. So what kind of coach are you?