There is a term mining companies in Western Australia use, it’s FIFO … fly-in, fly-out. It’s used to describe the working habits of miners in extremely remote sections. The workers fly-in from other parts of the country, work, then fly-out to home until their next work session.
For their employers, fly-in, fly-out workers are very useful. To the miner’s families, fly-in, fly-out can be a real challenge, almost useless to the young children who, even though they benefit from the paycheck, they greatly miss their dad (or mum).
I thought it might be interesting/amusing/telling to look at nine flavors of coaches, from a useful versus useless perspective. And to see who those coaches might be useful to, and who would consider them useless.
[Before the yelling starts, in this case useless does not mean totally useless, just not as useful as could or should be]
HWNSC (He-who-never-stops-coaching coach)
Description: Regardless of the time on the clock, this coach is in his office working. He never leaves, there’s too much to do. He misses major family events (if he still has a family) because there is always one more thing that has to be done.
Who useful to: This coach is useful to programs that depend on workaholics with an unending amount of time and energy, and who are available any time of day or night.
Who useless to: This coach is useless to fellow staff members who aren’t workaholics, useless to the coach’s family, useless to the athletes who want a fully energized coach at practice (which they seldom get).
FL (Fossil coach)
Description: A coach stuck in the old ways, and one who hates change.
Who useful to: Athletes and other coaches who love the status quo, who hate surprises, and who detest trying the *latest and greatest*.
Who useless to: Any supervisor who wants/needs coaches who are uptodate with the latest innovations, protocols, and safety guidelines, and whose butt is on the line if the coach were to cause something negligent to happen.
CWJFENASTTCA (Coach-who-jumps-for-every-new-&-shiny-thing-that-comes-along coach)
Description: Opposite of the FL coach, this coach jumps at the latest and greatest without second thought, an easily distracted person.
Who useful to: Vendors pushing new stuff; or opposing coaches who are looking for an edge and are always sending emails to this coach that start with, “Hey Coach, have you seen this yet, it is amazing …”
Who useless to: Athletes and administrators who crave consistency. Any person who does not like change.
HT (Hermit coach)
Description: He grumbles, mumbles, scowls. He does his coach-thing, then retreats to his coach-cave, never to come out until the next coach session. He knows the game, yet his personal skills resemble that of a soap dish’s.
Who useful to: People who hate awkward social moments, because with this coach there is NEVER any social moments.
Who useless to: Most if not all athletes, because athletes care that a coach cares about them. Even if an HT coach did care, he would-never could-never show it.
SD (Surfer-dude coach)
Description: A coach who marches to her own drummer.
Who useful to: I have buddies who surf, and when things get rotten at work they are out the door, to the beach, chasing waves. SD coaches are useful to other coaches who are struggling with stress, or are on their way to becoming HWNSC coaches, because they can be role models of how to escape the pressure.
Who useless to: Sometimes the *own drummer thing* can cause friction with others who are following the party line.
WAAC (Win-at-any-cost coach)
Description: There’s only one thing on his mind, winning, price-be-damned. And every single action is geared toward that goal.
Who useful to: Programs who want to win, regardless of what it takes, like professional or national teams.
Who useless to: Everyone else. The trail of damage left in his wake can be extensive, expensive & harmful.
TFSB (Two-faced slime-ball coach)
Description: As in any profession, there is a tiny percentage of these types lurking in the shadows.
Who useful to: Lawyers who sue the organization that employees TFSB coaches. Also useful to the press, who uses stories about these coaches to sell copy and make money.
Who useless to: Everyone else in the world of coaching, sports, and really, in the entire world as we know it.
WHYDFM / WWYDFM (“What-Have-You-Done-For-Me” “What-Will-You-Do-For-Me” coach)
Description: Like a three-year old at Christmas, it’s all about her. ALL ABOUT HER.
Who useful to: People who don’t like saying “thank you,” because with this coach everything is done for herself, so there is nothing to thank her for.
Who useless to: To the entire world of coaching. Coaching is giving, not getting.
TBTP (Too-busy-too-poop coach)
Description: This coach believes she gets a medal for telling everyone how busy she is, and she literally cannot find a moment to go to the bathroom, she is sooooo busy.
Who useful to: Scratching my head on this one, oh … wait, the TBTP coach is useful to other TBTP coaches, cause, misery loves company.
Who useless to: Everyone who is trying to go about their life is a sane, stress-free manner.
Ever since I started writing about coaching, I’ve learned more than I imagined I could, both about the vocation and myself. We have a lot of work to do, within and without. All of that combines to make us the best coaches possible. I appreciate you being here for part of that journey.
So, let me ask you, do you see yourself in any of those examples of coaches? Do you fit another category? Something to kick around.