We’re Ready for state and these are some of my thoughts on what a coach needs to do, to push their stars to the limits. We have come this far, so what’s next? Take a look at some of these, and practice them with your team.
Great coaches CONTINUALLY CHALLENGE THEIR ATHLETES TO DO BETTER AND PUSH THEIR LIMITS – One way that great coaches inspire their athletes to believe in themselves is by continually putting them in situations which challenge their limiting beliefs. That is, these coaches are always pushing their athletes outside of their comfort zone, physically, mentally and emotionally, and then helping them discover that, in fact, they can do better than they first believed they could. These coaches teach the “GET COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE principle.” That is, the only way to grow physically and emotionally is to constantly challenge yourself to do things that aren’t easy, to attempt things that truly stretch you. The best coaches do not allow their players to just get by with the status quo. They refuse to tolerate mediocrity in effort, attitude, technique, training or performance. Because they continually challenge their athletes, they are able to keep them highly motivated. There is nothing more motivating to an athlete than being challenged, experiencing themselves successfully rising to meet that test and as a result, improving. When coaches fail to adequately challenge their athletes, when they instead allow them to remain stagnat within their comfort zone, they will ultimately end up losing those athletes to boredom and apathy.
The best coaches CONTINUALLY CHALLENGE THEMSELVES – Good coaches practice what they preach. They continually model the attitudes and behaviors that they want their players to adopt. Along these lines, these coaches always maintain a “beginner’s mind” when it comes to their professional development within the sport. Good coaches understand that regardless of how much success they may have had in the past doing things their own way, they can always learn new and better ways of teaching the sport. These coaches are always open to learning the very latest that may be available within their field be it regarding strategy, technique, conditioning, mental training or motivation. In this way these coaches continually step out of their comfort zone as “experts” and put themselves in the more uncomfortable position as “beginner and learner.” They are always looking for fresh ideas to spice up and enhance what they are already doing. They attend coaching conferences, read new books, watch and listen to what’s current on DVD and CD programs, and actively explore ways of getting the job done better. These coaches are not rigidly closed-minded nor do they fight what is usually a fast changing technology within their sport. Because these coaches “walk the talk” around being open to new ideas and demand from their athletes exactly what they demand from themselves, their athletes are far more motivated to meet the coach’s higher expectations.
“My responsibility is leadership, and the minute I get negative, that is going to have an influence on my team. Don Shula