Why I Am Retiring From Coaching In 5 Years

An undeniable law of existence is that there is an expiration date to everything. You see this wisdom express in every text of spirituality across the globe. In Judeo-Christian traditions this truth is succinctly discussed in the the Old Testament in Ecclesiastes 3 which is commonly known as the “A Time For Everything” chapter. This truth is a focus in Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Native American traditions as well as numerous others. Many philosophers, scientists, and artist know this as well. The inescapable intelligence of term limits is a deep enteral wisdom. Why then it is common practice to coach with an open ended timeline?


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8 replies
  1. Walt Shields
    Walt Shields says:

    Totally disagree with almost entire article. Some peoples passion is coaching and while energy ebbs and flows.they can stay motivated and don’t have to give way to “younger, better, and more curious generation of coaches”. Also you can have outside interests that you can pursue concurrently.

    Reply
    • Martin Bingisser
      Martin Bingisser says:

      I too don’t plan to retire in five years, and the counter point can be made that you need to stick around longer to get more experience. But as I told Jonathan I think many points are valid. Too many coaches continue after the passion is gone, especially at the NCAA level. I think the problem is when people start thinking about coaching as a profession, or industry, rather than a passion. Then there is a tendency to hang on for the pay check rather than the athletes. As long as the passion is there I’ll be at the track. Same goes with my own training. And I make so little coaching and throwing that it’ll be easy for me to walk away when it’s my time.

      Reply
  2. Walt Shields
    Walt Shields says:

    Any profession have people who lack passion and need to move on.. Some never have passion to start. I am similar to Martin in the fact that I have an outside job that is my primary source of income. I just had a friend who passed way too young who I had a very enlightening conversation with near the end of his life. We were talking with someone who didnt know me and he told them what I did for a living and then added that “I also coached which was my true passion”. I had never said anything like that to him but I now realize how true it is. I would guess there are plenty of coaches who feel the same.

    Reply
    • Martin Bingisser
      Martin Bingisser says:

      And as with any profession, the passionless attitude is contagious. Whether you are a good coach or not, passion should be a prerequisite because it makes it more fun to train. A passionate coach without know-how will likely beat a knowledgable burnt-out coach 9 times out of 10. I’ve worked with both and there is no comparison.

      Reply
  3. Walt Shields
    Walt Shields says:

    I think a counter argument can be made at the NCAA level that most coaches leave too early because of lack of financial reward. If you aren’t a head coach or at a Big D1 program its tough to stay after a few years. I coached at the D2 level and an assistant coach past 30 is a rarity.

    Reply
  4. Walt Shields
    Walt Shields says:

    Don’t mean to argue that coaches should stay on if they lack passion. I just have a problem with the whole term limit/expiration date line of thinking for coaches.

    Reply
  5. Duncan Atwood
    Duncan Atwood says:

    No passion, time to move on. But there really ought to be room for people who have plenty of passion and are still learning after many years. Maybe it’s different in the distance running world, but in the throws, becoming greedy doesn’t seem to give you any traction – no opportunities.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] report I have left the NCAA system. Why? In a word: burnout. No, I am not burnt out on coaching — I still have 5 more years until I retire! — rather I am burnt out on watching athletes burn out. From my experience, the heart of this […]

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