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Friday, February 13, 2015

The Power of the Coach

I wonder sometimes if people truly understand the influence a coach has on someone. I am not just talking about a gold winning coach, I am talking about anyone that is in the position to teach and train someone to do a sport. Whether it is football, swimming, Olympic lifting, track, CrossFit ...ANYTHING!

In my opinion, a good coach is not someone who has the winning record or the best staff. A good coach is someone who has developed a relationship with his athletes. A good coach knows what makes his athlete nervous and what calms them down. A good coach knows where his athletes weaknesses are and what their strengths are.  A good coach knows what cues will work and which ones won't. A good coach knows who needs to be pushed harder and who needs the softer nudge to finish the task. Most importantly, a good coach cares about more than just winning, he cares about the athlete and not just the athlete but the HUMAN that makes the athlete.

This person has been given an incredible amount of power. No, I don't mean that they rule the roost, although some may think they do. What I'm talking about is the power these coaches have over the athlete they are training. The power to lift these athletes up, full of self-confidence is the same power than can crush them.

Let's talk briefly about the athlete for a minute. There are a handful of people that are genetically GIFTED at sports and will succeed at anything they attempt. In the CrossFit world, that person would obviously be Rich Froning, Jr. In basketball you might say it is Michael Jordan although he may argue that fact. In the football world, the Manning's are the first to come to mind. For the majority of us though, we must be taught and coached. Through that learning process, among a series of failures and successes, we begin to learn what things are difficult for us, what things we really want to learn and be better at and what comes naturally and easily to us.

For me, I am that athlete that wants to do but needs to be coached. TEACH me how to do it and I will do it! Leave me over here by myself to figure it out on my own and I may struggle. The struggle will just piss me off  though and I will eventually figure out how to do the task...especially if I feel I was ignored because you felt I wasn't "Good Enough".

I am a grown up though and I have some pretty tough skin. Kids? Not so much.

When you are coaching a child, and I am using the word child to define anyone that has not graduated high school, you have more power than you are aware of. A LOT OF POWER! That child is clay, sitting in your hands waiting to be molded. If you do nothing with him, if you ignore him, skim over him, create no relationship with him, then you have done nothing with that clay and nothing will be created. An opportunity missed. A possible masterpiece that never was developed. Then you watch as the love for the sport begins to die in their eyes and in their heart. I mean, why try if you are not going to be noticed for your efforts anyways, right?

If you are a coach and coaching has become just a job for you, just a place you go every week to get a paycheck, then this post is for you. Do our kids a favor and find something else to do because bad coaches are dream killers and that's a tragedy. Our kids deserve better.

1 comment:

  1. A very good post, Dawn. And I can only hope that coaches will read this and get a new perspective of what's coming from a parent's heart. Children are so important and impressionable and coaches have a great deal of influence over them. They should handle that influence with care.