In 3 posts this week I commented on what I was NOT– Not A big time distance runner, Not A literary critic, Not A scientist. So this is what I AM–
I have always been very proud to say that I am part of the greatest profession in the world. I am a teacher and a coach. These two skills (jobs) are linked together – to be a great coach, you must be a great teacher. I have seen many bad coaches that were also bad teachers, and many good teachers that could not find their way around a practice field or court. But I firmly believe that in order to be a great coach, you need to be a great teacher as well. So what qualities make a great teacher and coach? In no particular order, here are my thoughts on the matter.
- Great Knowledge of your subject matter – Without this you will be limited on what you can teach your student-athletes; if you are a fraud you eventually will be found out. As I mentioned in an earlier post (Lifetime Learning), continued learning is important as well
- Great Communicator – Your communication skills allow you to share your knowledge of the subject matter with your student-athletes. Without this skill you are simply a repository of knowledge.
- Great Motivator – It is your job to push your student-athletes beyond their comfort zone – often getting them to do things that are physically and mentally difficult. A good motivator will figure out what your individual student-athletes “hot buttons” are and when to push them.
- Great Empathy – Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective.; it is walking a mile in their shoes. You have to be able to “connect” with your athletes, and I think having empathy helps with this. You aren’t best friends with them, but do understand them.
- Great Work Ethic– Coaching and teaching involve hours beyond the time spent on the field or classroom. Great teachers and coaches understand this process, this grind (Grit and “The Grind”) and embrace it.
- Great Energy Level – I have never seen a great teacher/ coach that was boring. Great teachers are enthusiastic and their enthusiasm is contagious, spilling over to other coaches and players.
- Great Organization – Beyond the actual teaching or coaching, the job can be massive – hundreds of players on a squad, with reams of paperwork needed for each one. In order to efficiently use the limited time you have, in the classroom and on the field, being organized is a must.
I know this list is not definitive – I am surely leaving things out.
Every coach and teacher has his or her various strengths and weaknesses. The key, I think, is to figure out your weak areas and develop a plan on how you can improve in those areas. It is the same process with the same expectations you would have with your student-athletes.
Coach Yourself Up!
Questions or Comments are appreciated!
Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org