For decades teachers have used the acronym ABC to help youngsters grasp the alphabet. To this day, regardless of age, almost any product of the American educational system can sing the ABC song flawlessly.
That acronym is so engrained in our thinking that it has now come to stand for things that are the nuts and bolts. For example, the ABCs of driving a car are the cornerstone of any driver’s education manual. The same goes for almost any product you can buy — the ABCs are those critical elements, usually stuck in the directions … somewhere.
What About The Coaching World?
Unfortunately, in the World of Coaching Sports the ABCs of being a coach are hard to find. Some would say they don’t even exist. There really is no manual. Sure, there is a wealth of information about how to instruct your athletes or win more contests. But little exists on how to BE a coach.
That is a flawed system.
I’m not advocating we have ABC’s for coaches so all coaches do the exact same thing. I’m suggesting the ABCs of being a coach could help new coaches avoid a lot of the pitfalls and the hard knocks that many of us who’ve been around for a few years have had to endure. Those ABCs could improve their experiences and protecting them and their athletes from costly mistakes.
A Different View
At the recent NCAA championships for my sport, a coach-friend and I were waiting for lousy weather to clear. As our discussion came around to coaching he mentioned that he’d been told by his athletic director that ABC’s stood for: Athletes Before Coaches. An understandable perspective, especially in light of misdeeds of some notable coaches.
Yet, I think that’s a troublesome mindset for coaches as we see more and more good, capable coaches, caring coaches, kind hearted coaches, leave the profession.
Athletes Before Coaches put coaches at risk — greatly.
If I was Czar of the World of Coaching Sports, I would change the acronym to be AAC, where the initials stood for: Athletes And Coaches.
No one benefits from coaches being chewed up and worn down just to improve an athlete’s experience. At the same time, athletes being overworked, abused, or crushed to embellish a coach’s experience is worse.
We need a balance, and we don’t have one right now.
Take Action n\Now
In your World of Coaching Sports, if ABC stands for Athletes Before Coaches you should ask yourself these three questions:
- What am I doing to re-energize myself during my competitive season?
- Is my health (a) better, (b) same, or (c) worse, than during my competitive season?
- Knowing what you know now about being a coach, would you choose to be a coach again?
A simple twist to our ABCs, and a few things to ponder about your coaching experience.
(If you liked this I would be most honored if you would share it with your World. Just click the SHARE button below. I’m trying to help 1000 coaches improve their experience, and it will take help to get there. Thank you!)