To be a coach, that is, to be all that is required of those in the position, is to possess many skills and abilities, to own knowledge, to be perceptive and understanding, and to be driven by an emotional commitment to sport, self and to others.
It is not just a position to which one is named or a title which one claims, but rather a stature and an honor which is earned. For to be “the Coach” is to be someone very special!
By producing athletes and teams who, individually and together, play consistently as well as they can, coaches insure the greatest likelihood of gaining victories.
Three keys to the athletic success of most great coaches are anticipation, preparation and dedication to the pursuit of excellence.
The rewards of coaching are measured not in what one is able to “get,” but rather in the opportunities the coach has to “give” to others, the athletes, to the kids.
Coaches must not only be able to recognize what individuals, teams and the sport setting need and demand, but also confidently believe that their contributions will be better, and produce more positive benefits, than if that same experience were provided by someone else.
The coach is the definer, creator, provider, and delivers the sport experience to the athlete. The quality of the athlete’s experience can never exceed the quality of the leadership providing it.
It is very critical for all coaches to possess their own philosophy of sport and coaching, characterized by a few specific “foundational beliefs.”
“IT DOES MATTER WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE….!”
Anything short of one’s best leaves the door open for defeat. Success is not measured by how well one does against another, but rather is measured only against oneself.
SUCCESS = Ability X Preparation X Effort X Will
Just being talented isn’t enough, but rather how one develops and uses his or her talents will determine the level of success which is achieved. Thus the need for preparation.
Taking whatever abilities we have, and working hard in preparation to become more skilled and more capable than we have ever been before are truly important and necessary ingredients in becoming a success. But to put the capability to its best use in competitive athletics requires that individuals give great effort, to literally give as much of themselves and they possibly can.
While we can’t control all that we get, we have total control over all that we GIVE!
Leadership has been simply defined as the ability to influence others to do certain things. Coaches must understand the distinction between management and leadership and be constantly mindful of the fact: “You lead people, you manage things.”
Conflict must be addressed and dealt with expeditiously and in accordance with previously established standards.
To achieve excellence is sport there is but one choice to be made. By choosing the attitude of “I commit,” an athlete puts himself or herself in position to succeed. We have no guarantee of success, but when an athlete commits to an objective, the probability of reaching it is enhanced. The attitude of “I’ll try” leaves the athlete susceptible to doubt and failure.
The coach must have the ability to detect performance errors, to give the athlete clear feedback about those errors, and to provide reinforcement when the slightest improvement is noted.
Practice does not make perfect: perfect, planned, purposeful practice makes perfect. How we practice is as important as what we practice. It also helps establish controllable, predictable, and successful performances in competition. Coaches and teams are successful by design, not by chance.