What is a coach?
A coach is a model for the team who sets the values, standards and expectations for his athletes. With these in place, the athlete understands what is expected of him and directs his focus towards achieving the team’s objective.
A coach must first find out where to go.
Your direction comes from the intersection of passion and purpose. Passion puts you on your authentic path. Purpose keeps you moving down the road when things get tough. If you’re crystal clear on both, your direction will flow naturally.
A coach must get lost.
Once you know where to go, be ready to get lost. Get lost in the lives of people around you. Because a coach knows it’s not about him. It’s about putting other people first and bringing the best in them.
A coach must listen.
Before expecting anyone to listen to you, you should aim to listen first. A coach learns the values, perspectives and motivations of each of his athletes, so he can use these insights to elevate the individual performance and team cohesion.
A coach must close gaps.
You must be always on the toes to close the gaps between where your athletes are and where they want to be. Closing that gap is your victory. The greater victory however comes from helping them to reduce their fears and frustrations while increasing their confidence and courage.
A coach must give feedback.
Feedback is the best gift a coach can give. You must learn to deliver the right feedback at the right time to the right people in the right way. What gets rewarded gets repeated. What gets reprimanded gets prevented.
A coach must criticize less and praise more.
You might have heard the term ‘positive reinforcement’. That’s exactly what you want to unleash your peoples’ potential. Say these five words “I am proud of you” more. Give high fives. If you’re not a high-five guy, don’t worry. You could use a fist bump, a pat on the back or even a special handshake.
A coach must not focus on the wins.
If you get too caught up in wins and losses, you’re most likely doing it wrong. Coaching is about putting people first and letting them perform at their best. Results are just a byproduct. Although sports can be very serious, a coach never forgets to keep the playing field fun and fair.
A coach must be coachable.
Coachability is when you learn something new that’s the right thing to do and you do it. One big mistake coaches make is they forget how to be coachable. You were a student for a long time before you ever become a teacher, and now because you’re a teacher doesn’t mean you have the license to stop learning.
A coach must pay it forward.
Your goal as a coach is not to get but to give. A coach teaches not just the skills the game needs, but also the skills for the game called ‘life’. Coaching is a lifelong pursuit. A coach gives like there’s no tomorrow, but learns, trains and loves like he’s going to live forever.
A coach must live his life without regrets.
A long time ago, there was a couple so in love and had similar dreams of making it in show business. The girl was an actress and the boy was a playwright. They were working hard to craft their skills. They would sit together for a long time and talk about their Hollywood dreams. Sadly, their efforts were not paying off as much as they expected. There wasn’t a market demand and the country was in depression. Over time, the couple found it difficult to make ends meet. They even considered themselves lucky to have a roof over their heads.
On their one-year anniversary, the boy wanted to give his wife something memorable. All he could afford was a brown bag of peanuts. He was embarrassed so he attached a note along with the gift, promising her “I wish this brown bag of peanuts was a red velvet of emeralds. And I promise that when our dreams come true, I’m going to give those gems to you.” The girl smiled and appreciated the gift.
Their tough times didn’t last forever. A few months later, economy recovered and so did Hollywood business. The couple worked hard and the film business eventually noticed their incredible talent. The girl starred in many movies and won countless awards. The boy went on to write plays that changed hearts and minds of millions. Together they felt they were on top of the world.
But like tough times, great times didn’t last forever. The couple grew older and before their 50th anniversary, the man became critically ill. Lying in the hospital bed and knowing he had little time left, he purchased an anniversary gift for his famous wife. When she came to see him at his final moments, he handed her a red velvet bag of emeralds along with the note. The note reads ‘I wish this red bag of emeralds was a brown bag of peanuts. Because I would give anything back to go back to where we started and do it all over again with you’.