Simple Idea: Many coaches hesitate to invest enough in getting better
It’s a FAST word we live in. People want results NOW! Microwaves,
minute rice, instant on, text-me-baby, “Hey Coach, I’m a freshman —
make me captain today!” The speed of sound is way too slow, bring on Warp 12.
And that’s certainly true in our world of coaching.
Good coaches will get results … with time. And during that time, hard work needs to be applied. Not ditch-digging, back-breaking work. Rather focused mental (and often physical) labor that results in a higher level of knowledge, understanding, and ability that many coaches never reach.
I’d Like Mine NOW please, Not THEN
I’ve been at full-time coaching over 30 years and I feel like I’m just now starting to understand coaching. Interesting, I thought I knew it all after my third year.
I was a head coach at a Division II university in Florida, and we had a great year. “I got this,” was my mantra. Full disclosure, I didn’t have it at all, and the following two years proved that.
I hadn’t grasped how instrumental and helpful a few of my peers had been and when they moved on to other things one-by-one the wheels came of my Coaching Winnebago. Two seasons later I resigned, emotionally and physically exhausted, the team probably glad to see me go, my legacy a negative, and me swearing at myself for being an egotist-jerk.
How’d that happen?
In reflection, I didn’t have the skills and knowledge to lead a team through some challenging times. I didn’t know enough, hadn’t paid my dues. I had not sweated enough. Thought I had. Not even close.
I had smalled the sweat-stuff.
Athletes want coaches who have sweated. So do those who hire coaches. When you have sweated you improve your chances of success so many different ways. Here’s an example of that from the business world, Trek Bicycle’s Chief, on Lessons of the Night Shift.
Eat Your Own Coach Pie
There is this theory, and its a credible one, that to become an expert at a vocation you need to invest 10,000 hours. For a full-time coach that’s around 10 years. Phew. Overwhelming, insightful, and depressing — all at the same time.
Let’s accept that theory, even for a moment. What should you do while you wait for those 10,000 hours to roll by?
Try this: Divide up your coaching into small sections (things like budget, player management, equipment, etc.). Now pinpoint one of those domains and master it. I mean crush it. Be the coach who other coaches ask advice about that domain. Since it is a small slice of the pie this mastery may come quick. Once you’ve got that nailed, devour another slice.
Before you know it, you’ve unsmalled the sweat-stuff, and you are on your way to mastery, and building a better coaching legacy.
PS: This is the first installment in the Rock Your Coach Legacy series. Short, sweet, to the point blasts about your coaching legacy. Blasting to your inbox (if you’re registered, that is).