Moms are great. Yet … sometimes they don’t tell us everything.
For example, I can hear a coach’s mom saying, “Dearie, when you’re a coach you will serve an important role in our society.”
Okay, that could happen, right? Sure.
But I wouldn’t expect the mom to then add, “Oh, while you do your coaching-thing you will be under-appreciated, under-supported, and under-developed.”
Even though its true, few people mention it. It’s too bad coaches aren’t told those truths because they result in coaches who often can’t generate their true positive impact.
That true positive impact of a coach can be significant and it shows up in five areas which are represented in this simple formula:
Sketching it out, it would look something like this:
But here’s the rub, when a coach is under-supported, under-appreciated, under-developed the coach can’t impact those areas because he is just trying to survive. His focus is to make it through the day … the next contest … the next fundraising event … the next disgruntled parent meeting. Poor Coach has no time/effort/energy to spare on other things except for his own survival.
When that happens Hollow Coaching occurs.
And Hollow Coaching looks like this:
The coach is just concerned about contest performance. No development happens. Communities, teams, athletes, coaches are left depleted at the end. It’s resource management at its worst.
Of course a cynical coach would see the advantage of this, “Thats perfect, I get to focus on winning — forget all that other stuff.” It’s that statement, and those coaches, who represent the worst of sports; and why we see impacts such as 75% of kids quitting sports at by the age of 13, never to play a sport again.
I’ve been a coach since 1980, and have done my share of hollow coaching. It’s not where we do our best work. It’s not the type of coaching that’s fun or rewarding.
“Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing and wherever we are going, we owe it to ourselves, to our art, to the world, to do it right.” –Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is The Way
What’s A Coach To Do? (Action You Should Take)
So what’s your plan, Coach? Is it to go about your business, focusing only on winning, and just try to survive to the end of the season?
If you’ve read this far, I doubt that’s what you’re thinking. So, start here with this question … “Is my coaching hollow?” Let’s get some insight.
Grab a piece of paper, draw two axis. Along the horizontal axis list the formula. Along the vertical one, put 1-5.
Now pick a typical in-season month, and for each part of the formula plot the number of times you did something for that specific area in that month. It might look something like this:
The horizontal axis represents hollow coaching. The higher your points extend vertical the more complete your coaching is.
Notice anything scary, or encouraging?
If you suspect your coaching is tinting toward hollow, there are steps you could take, such as:
- Ask for help with your coaching duties
- Use the Power of No
- Get a deeper understanding of the sinister truths of coaching
- Carve out a few minutes each day to work on your development
And you can ask a mom for help. They often have some pretty creative solutions.
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I’m grateful that we have the opportunity to discuss coaching. Leave a comment and tell me a little bit more about your coaching world, hollow or not.