We all get smarter as we get older, but wouldn’t it be great to start your career again knowing what you know now?
For those of you that are new to coaching, here are 8 coaching lessons that will take you far!
I remember my first college coaching job. I was fresh out of college and found myself the assistant coach at Arizona State. I’d had zero training to be a pitching coach other than I’d just been a college pitcher. I was still playing Travelball (women’s major) with many of the players on the ASU team and was only about a year or 2 older than most of them. On top of that, my sister Sue was also on the team! I’d been a player my whole softball life and suddenly I found myself a coach. Needless to say I was miserable at it at first, not knowing what things I should do and shouldn’t do – since most of us don’t get any real training to become a coach.
Well, thanks to a stern discussion from my Head Coach, Mary Littlewood, I learned my main role and worked hard to stayed lazer focused on being a good assistant. I went on to become a head coach and then eventually teach people how to coach, but I still go back to that coaching-entry process. Too many of us enter it by simply being willing, as if that alone was the sole criteria. Granted, at the youth level, many coaches are qualified simply because they are the only parent willing to take on the job, so willingness is certainly one VERY important quality. But, while that might get you in the coaching door, it alone won’t help you be successful.
There are many things that go into being a successful coach – and while a great deal of time is spent focused on learning the various nuances and details of the skills – too little time is spent on the bigger issues that can cause your demise. I see coaches hired for their knowledge of a particular skill only to watch those coaches get fired for issues like loyalty, poor work ethic, poor decision-making, etc…
So, after years & years in and around the coaching profession, here’s my list of the 8 things young coaches need in order to be successful:
- Be Loyal
Every coach dreams about being in the “big time” but those that actually make it there do so by making wherever they are the Big Time! Help your players feel like the Big Time, support your head coach, or be the head coach that lets everyone associated with your program feel Big Time! Instead of gripping about where you are or dreaming about where you wish you were, start today making wherever you are the Big Time – and watch what happens!
And finally, remember that every single coach in the world started out as a young coach. Everyone goes through the stages of being young in their career path. Age and experience doesn’t mean you can’t be good at those areas of your coaching skill that you have control over. Do your very best, every day to improve yourself and your team and to represent everyone with class – and one day, you’ll be passing down advice to the next generation of coaches looking to be just like you!
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