5 Ways to Be a Better Coach
As coaches we get caught up in thinking that our players are the ones who need to make the adjustments and we focus on their improvement instead of our own. It’s important to keep in mind that regardless of how great of a coach you are, there is always a way to get better – just like we tell our athletes. Being a great coach is a journey, not a destination.
1. Show the Value:
It’s easy to get caught up in the X’s and O’s of your sport and forget that you are teaching them SO MUCH MORE than just the sport. Also, not all of your players are going to play at the next level, whatever that may be, so it is important to show them value in other ways. Sports teach communication, self-awareness, accountability, responsibility, confidence, and so much more. All of these skills are far more valuable than anything sport specific you are teaching.
2. Clear Cut Expectations:
You can’t keep your expectations secret and expect to your players to meet them. No one is a mind reader. Lay out what you want and what you expect from your team so they know EXACTLY what is expected of them. This helps eliminate the “excuse makers” from your program as well.
3. Communication Skills:
Learn how to communicate with your players. Every kid is different. You have to learn what they respond to and a lot of this is trial and error. You’re going to mess up a few times before you figure it out, but it is critical that you learn multiple ways to communicate your message.
4. Keep it Fun and Keep Them Learning:
At the end of the day sports should be a fun and positive environment for kids to learn. Winning is fun, but shouldn’t be the center of your program. If winning is how you gauge your progress, then any loss can be devastating. Instead, use losses or mistakes as learning tools. When your athletes go out into the world, they aren’t always going to “win.” This is a way you can add value to your program and adequately prepare your kids for a life after sports.
5. Stay Hungry:
We tell our players to “stay hungry” and that they should “always keep learning,” so why shouldn’t we?! Regardless of how much success you find as a coach, you should always stay hungry for new information. New drills, new ways to train, new nutrition and science, new coaching philosophies, etc… There is ALWAYS something new to learn, even as a coach.