“I’m done. Lemme out of here. Ain’t going to do this no more.”
Ever felt that way?
Sure you have. If you’ve been coaching for longer than a swing of a bat, you’ve had those thoughts.
I’ve quit hundreds of times. Maybe thousands. I’ve lost track.
Well, I didn’t really quit. I thought about quitting. Processed it. Let it hang out in my psyche for a few hours. But then I filed the thought. Keep on coaching.
Except … there was this one time. That time, I actually quit coaching, for good.
Never, ever, was I going to coach again.
What is this crazy thing about coaching?
Why Coaches Quit
I know there is a lot of research on this. Matter of fact, there was a pretty good book written on this exact topic, Why Good Coaches Quit: And How You Can Stay In The Game. (It is on sale at Amazon for only $.01). But it was published in 1999, and things have changed since then.
The basic premise behind why coaches want to quit — simply enough — is that they don’t want to coach anymore.
What drives a coach to think that? Well, I’ve seen many, many coaches quit. I think it has something to do with one of three things.
- Relationships (significant others, parents, immediate boss)
- Resources (pay, budget, equipment, players)
- Fear (safety & sanity)
There maybe other things bugging you, I’m just seeing these three as the big issues.
Why Coaches Shouldn’t Quit
If you’re thinking about quitting — don’t. That is, if you answer yes to both of these questions:
- (A) Are you a good, caring coach?’ and
- (B) Is the reason you want to quit fixable?
Let’s start with B first. What’s broken? Crazy parents? A significant other about to become a coaching widow? Funds drying up? Athletes giving up? If you can fix those issues, then don’t quit — as long as you answered yes to A.
Now for A. How do you know if you are a good, caring coach? Alumni tell you. Parents tell you. Athletes tell you. You tell yourself. Sports need good caring coaches. We need you.
So then, two yeses? Then don’t quit.
I don’t know.
I’m not trying to get you to quit. And I’m not trying to get you to stay. Maybe I’m writing this for myself. Why would you listen to me anyway? Listen to someone else …
If you’ve read to this point, then quitting might be an issue you could use more info about. I’m going to recommend The Dip by Seth Godin, a super duper smart guy. It’s about quitting, and why you shouldn’t, or why & when you should.
And if you’re a podcast sort of person, Dan Benjamin has a great series called, unoddly enough, Quit.
Your choice, both very good.
I doubt you’ll comment. Who wants to admit to those thoughts. But if you do, I’m here, Coach.