‘more than just a coach’

Sep 04, 12 ‘more than just a coach’

As a coach, it’s easy to lose sight of what is truly important. It’s not about the formations. It’s not about winning. It’s not even about putting the ball in the net.

The most important thing is to teach players about life. Teach them how to be happy and successful. Teach them how to be a good friend, teammate and a decent person. Teach them how to live with integrity, confidence and humility.

The Impact we have…

As coaches we have a tremendous impact and influence on our players (whether they know it or not). Some of these players will remember what you do and what you tell them for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. I can’t say I had the same experience when I was younger (bad memory) coaches now are way more qualified and many like to research the impact they have on children thus using mental strength, game intelligence and visualisation techniques. Many techniques can help a child grow with confidence and belief, your role as a coach is so important.

You have an amazing opportunity to have a positive influence on the lives of your players. You have an opportunity to improve their lives and their future. It is said of great coaches that not only do they teach you about the game but they teach you about life.

If a player can remember you for something positive, to me, that’s the true indication of a great coach. This is what all coaches should strive for and what all coaches would hope players say about them.

So, How Do You Teach Players About Life?

The place to begin (because it’s the most effective method) is by setting a good example and being a good role model. This is the most important aspect of coaching. There’s no question that the absolute best way to influence players is by setting a good example. I always try to stay positive and never use the word CAN’T, there is nothing you can’t do!

“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.”

But what kind of example are you setting each day in your actions and words?

How do you handle adversity and difficult situations? (Your players are always watching you.) Do you shout at the refs? Do your actions contradict the words that come out of your mouth? How do your players really see you as a coach? 

I can’t tell you how many coaches (myself included in the past) will say one thing and then contradict themselves with their actions. For example, a coach might say,

“Teamwork is what this team needs to be successful! Trust your teammates. Pass them the ball, if they are in a better position. Move the ball around, work hard for each other and the team.”

Then no more than two minutes later, the coach will set-up a drill and correct every thing the player does wrong. What do these actions tell your players? It tells them that you don’t trust your players to figure things out on their own. Let them figure it out, and then ask the questions, don’t dictate.

“Be slow to correct and quick to commend.”

This is a profound statement in so many ways. It’s important to give your players an opportunity to learn on their own. Sure there are times when you need to correct. But doing so too often will hurt a player’s confidence and shows them that you don’t trust them to figure it out. Kids need to be allowed to make mistakes, the game is the teacher and you can be sure that a team mate will let him/her know if they are doing it wrong. Try to coach by insisting on confidence, explore the players mind.

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

Become an even better coach, become inspired! 

If your a coach you should take time to think about the example you set and how you can be a better role model. Make a list of your coaching priorities and values. Review those priorities each day and carry them around with you.. This will help you keep on track and get away from winning is everything attitude.

Try to read inspirational books, book on positive coaching by coaches or inspiring people. These books will tell you what is truly important. They also remind you about the integrity and morals that the greatest coaches in the world employ. These books will help you keep on track. It is good to read inspirational books, they make you become a better person. I suggest you read before a season starts, during the season and maybe towards the end also. Get drunk on books!

Things change so quickly in the season and you get caught up in the moment. Reading these books will help you stay on track and I can’t tell you how much of a positive impact this will have with you. Take notes, observe your players during training and matches.

We all need reminders to stay on course and reminders that at the end of the day, it’s just a game and everyone goes home to their families but  never forget that some kids might be inspired by what you say and who knows, it might just stick with them forever!!


I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me info@thecoachdiary.com If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. Thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

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