Coaching Excellence – Part Two

It is absolutely necessary to have a clearly defined philosophy of coaching. It was be more than just words. It must live in your everyday actions as a coach. To help guide your philosophy and stay on course it is necessary to have a working compass oriented to true north. Nothing changes under pressure, adversity or with challenges. You stay the course because your philosophy is the foundation of your coaching beliefs and the beacon that guides you.

Humility is a virtue than underlies coaching excellence. It requires an ability to accept criticism and deflect praise. Coaching excellence demands a strong self-belief coupled with humility. Coaching is not I, me, me, rather it is us, we and them. Great coaches are not the center of attention; they are facilitators, the conductors of the orchestra. They make sure all the pieces are in place. They know how to insure that everyone is on the bus in the correct seats and that the bus driver has a good current road map to the destination. Good coaching is athlete centered, coach driven and administratively supported, it is not coach centered. I know this is news to some of the huge egos that have prowled the sidelines over the years, but people did not come to see them, they came to watch the athletes perform. Great coaches are there in victory and defeat to lend perspective after the wins and comfort after loses.

Great coaches are leaders, not followers. They lead from the front through example, not just words. They are teachers who look for every opportunity to teach and to learn. They are always working to improve their skills, not just technical skills, but interpersonal skills. The spotlight is on the athlete; the coach’s job is to make them better people and better athletes. Coaching is FUNdamental. You can have fun while teaching and guiding people toward excellence. Coaching is not a grind.

Coaching excellence does not come easy it is a process that demands that you pay your dues. There is an old saying that you don’t enlist in the army as a general. You earn the right to progress each step of the journey. Every step of the way the coach must expect excellence and demand excellence from himself and those he is coaching. Excellence and its continuous pursuit then becomes a habit. Hard intelligent work is the price of admission for an opportunity to be the best. But it is more than hard work, it is work guided by your philosophy executed with intent and purpose.

What kind of coach do you want to be? Do you want to be the best? It is your choice! There are no boundaries or limits. Clearly define where you want to go, delineate the steps along the way, continually assess progress toward the goal and adjust if necessary. 99% of the time the only person standing in your way is you, so define your mission and if you fail, fail forward, get up and keep moving. No need to try harder, try different but keep trying.

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