Self-Management for Coaching Success

As coaches a huge part of our job involves management. Management of our athletes first, then management of our assistant coaches, support staff, facilities etc. To be a good coach it is absolutely necessary to be an effective manager. That being said the biggest management task we face is management of ourselves. Without effective self-management I contend it is virtually impossible to manage others effectively. In preparing a team or individuals the goal is always to be best for the big game, or for the championship meet or match. We get our athletes ready to go, but what about ourselves? We need be on our A game, completely energized, when often it is the opposite because we have failed to mange ourselves properly. Read more

I Think I Can

trainthatcouldMaybe this is subliminal programming from my childhood, but I grew up thinking I could. My favorite book as a child was The Little Engine That Could. When I had children I read it to them at least once a week. There is a clear message – Embrace the challenge. Look at possibilities. What can you do? How can you do it? Take one step at a time, move forward, never look book. Recognize that doubt and fear of failing are real – acknowledge that, but don’t be consumed by it. Yes you can, if you think you can. Read more

Just Doing It

Just doing it is not good enough to get significantly better. You can go through the motions and just do it. Anybody can that, but if you truly want to be the best and achieve your potential you must go beyond just doing it. Just doing it is putting the time; it is mindless work that makes you tired. Read more

Getting It and Getting There

Why do some athletes get it and make it and others with equal talent and ability fall by the wayside. This is a lifelong fascination of mine. Talent and ability are a given to make it to elite status, but it is so much more than that. Some athletes navigate the path easily and directly and other struggle, but both still make it. Why? Certainly athlete development and passage through to elite status is a process. There is no one model or framework. Nor is there a set time like ten years or a time period like 10,000 hours. No doubt it is related to practice depth and quality. It is related to coaching guidance to first ignite the spark of interest, then inspire and guide the athlete. Read more

Coaching Specialization

In the whole athlete development process we are very aware of the dangers of early specialization and even over specialization in young developing athletes. I was thinking yesterday after my interaction with some young coaches over the past couple of months that one of the biggest changes I see in the current generation of coaches is very narrow specialization. I see coaches who are incredibly knowledgeable in a very narrow area, but have no idea how their area fits into the bigger picture. As far as I can see this poses as much danger for the development of the coach as early specialization does for the athlete. My generation of coaches out of necessity had to be generalists. Read more

Mental Toughness Training

First of all as I have said several times over the years in this blog mental toughness is a figment of the imagination. Throwing a bunch of exercises together in a circuit and calling it mental toughness training is just an excuse for doing stupid stuff. Getting tired is not training. Read more

Training Essentials – The E’s

Energy – Coach and expect high energy from your athletes.Expect high energy do not be willing to settle for less. Read more

Dear Coach

The following are two letters to coaches. They are not actual letters rather they are composites of letters. The first letter is from 1970 to me in my first year coaching, the second letter is from 2013 that a colleague shared with me. Compare and contrast the content and tone of the letters. Read more

Training Essentials – The P’s

Progression – It is a building process where each step is dependent on the step before. Read more

Rewards of Coaching

There is no doubt in my mind that the rewards of coaching are the intangibles. I know it is not championships and records, those quickly fade away, the real rewards of coaching are seeing young boys and girls grow up to be responsible self sufficient men and women. Some of those young men and women when they were athletes could not remember their shoes, or their shot put but over time they learned. Read more