The start of a new season is an exciting time for coaches and athletes alike. However, this initial burst of enthusiasm and commitment inevitably will soon be tested as athletes cope with training and competition demands while also trying to balance other life responsibilities. Over a long season, even the most disciplined competitor will be tempted to stray off course and sometimes make poor decisions or behave inappropriately.
Coaches often remind their athletes that TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. That’s a great motto for keeping a group unified, but it’s pretty vague when it comes to specifying behaviors that define a good teammate. So I suggest you add another acronym to your coaching arsenal, one that highlights the behaviors you expect to ensure each athlete will be a CREDIT to your team.
The core of great coaching philosophies always includes an an emphasis on building people, not just athletes. Coaches believe that they gain credibility, respect, and trust by embracing a deep concern for building positive relationships with their athletes.
Most coaching books start with a discussion of the importance of creating a coaching philosophy and follow up with a section on creating goals. But to define a coaching philosophy and set goals, you must first understand and express why you coach and what principles will guide how you coach.
Some of the many benefits of playing multiple sports include fewer overuse injuries, improved decision-making skills and mental health, better overall athleticism, a more diverse peer social network, and exposure to different coaching styles.
Resilience is about much more than enduring the rough patches in coaching; it involves handling those tough situations with resolve and reserve. Accordingly, veteran coaches who demonstrate resilience are often described as highly disciplined, confident, and optimistic problem-solvers, which is a useful combination of qualities for any coach.
I have yet to meet a competitive athlete – of any age or in any sport – who relishes sitting on the bench. In fact, excessive time as a second or third stringer can be frustrating and demotivating, and is a primary reason athletes lose their passion for the sport if not their interest in playing at all. So how does a coach effectively manage playing time among team members so that subs stay positive and engaged throughout the season?
It is true that today’s generation of young athletes is growing up in a different culture, one in which individual achievements are often glorified and celebrated at the expense of collective achievements and self-sacrifice. Nowhere is this more evident than in the typical youth sport setting where parents aggressively push for their sons and daughters to get noticed, in the hopes of securing a college scholarship. The most effective way to bust a culture of athlete entitlement is to actively build and reinforce a culture of athlete accountability. This three-pronged approach is most effective for creating this type of team culture.
Performance slumps create adversity, but successful coaches believe that adversity simply creates opportunity. This is the message five-time national football championship coach Nick Saban gives to all of his teams: “When obstacles are placed in front of you, don’t say ‘Why me?’ Instead, say, ‘How can I overcome this?’”
How To Avoid Or Overcome Performance Slumps – Whether coaching, or competing as an athlete, there inevitably comes a time during the season when performance and energy levels dip. Performance slumps create adversity, but successful coaches believe that adversity simply creates opportunity.
Defining Success And Handling Failure – There’s no escaping it; losing happens. In life, they say only two things are guaranteed – death and taxes. If you coach, you can add a third guarantee. Your athletes will lose, and some of those losses will be heartbreaking. And that’s not always a bad thing.
Coaching In Emotional Control – Sport and coaching are rife with emotions. Coaches are passionate about what they do, and highly competitive by nature. The goal is to coach with genuine emotion – an authentic display of the feelings experienced at the time – but in a controlled way that will best help the athletes learn and perform.