by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportsToday.com
Coaches are a dime a dozen.
I know, that stings like getting snapped with a rolled-up, locker-room towel, yet there is truth to it.
The truth lies in the fact there are many, many coaches in the world, at least 5 million in the US alone. As one athletic director told me, “There’s more coaches out there then I can shake a stick at.” (I’m not quite sure why he felt the need to shake a stick, but that’s what he said.)
Yet here’s the thing … of all those coaches, the ones that MATTER, the coaches who make a DIFFERENCE, the coaches who make the MONEY, who get the JOB, who the athletes, fans, and admins LOVE … are the ones who have VALUE. Who have true Coaching-Value.
A funky little thing called value
Right down the road from where I lived was a small food store. It was run down, the owner was a grump, the perishables usually rotten. I always looked over my shoulder in that store.
Yet, yet, yet … when I ran out of cat liter, which I’d do at least twice a month, that store always had it.
You see, the place had value for me because I didn’t have to drive 15 extra miles to hit the city-store. Thirty-seconds away was a store that had what I needed — solved my problem.
A simple little equation …
I get it, a term like value can cause eyes to glaze over, but a little simple math can help:
coaching-value = solution + cost + quality
So, specific to coaching-value. If where you coach, you can:
- solve a problem,
- for a reasonable price,
- in a quality manner
… then you have coaching-value. And,
- the harder the problem is,
- the better your price is,
- the higher your quality is,
… the GREATER your coaching-value.
Look at it this way …
Their problem is in green, your solution in red, and the merger-area represents your coaching-value.
I’m wicked busy, why should I care about this?
I know you’re knee deep in alligators. We are all knee deep in gators, but here is why you, Coach, need to care about this:
If you don’t have coaching-value you will be known as a worthless coach.
Now simmer down, I’m not saying you ARE worthless, you’ll just get KNOWN as worthless in that coaching position. You might have immense skills and knowledge but in the wrong place there’s no value in that
That’s a bitter pill to swallow but it’s the way of coaching today.
And the coaches with great coaching-value? Well, they get the cool stuff.
Okay then, how do I become more valuable?
One more time with this image:
Step 1. Think about them: Turn your focus to the powers-to-be that employ you (or might employ you) as a coach. What problem do they have that needs solving? Fill in this blank for them (or better, yet ask them to fill it in):
We need a coach who can ____________
A few possible answers:
- We need a coach who can … recruit 10 student-athletes each year
- We need a coach who can … fundraise $20k
- We need a coach who can … win a national championship
- We need a coach who can … turn the program around
Step 2. Be the solution: Now, if you are the solution to their problem, you have coaching-value. (Realize, if they are just looking for a warm body to watch some kids run around with a soccer ball, and you are a warm body, then you have coaching-value.)
To quickly increase your coaching-value offer a solution that is high quality. Give them more than they bargained for. An example, instead of just recruiting 10 student-athlete, recruit them and then retain them. Your coaching-value soars.
Step 3. Grow the solution. To really grow your coaching-value, take your solution and expand it, and don’t be afraid to show off.
For instance, when I first started coaching dealing with the rowing equipment was a constant issue. I developed a few processes, put that info into a book, did workshops, and created a website about those solutions. My coaching-value increased greatly. In fact, one administrator told me those steps had a significant impact on me being selected to the 1996 US Olympic team as the boatman (person responsible for the equipment).
Step 4. Repeat: Coaching-value doesn’t remain still, it is a constant effort to keep your value up. Once you have it, you have to maintain it, and grow it. If not? Well, remember all those other coaches out there …
Let’s put a nice wrapper and ribbon around these with a quick summary:
- It’s to your advantage to have coaching-value. The more you have the greater the advantage.
- Coaching-value is more important today than ever due to the expectations of the job and dynamics of the market.
- The first, and arguably most important step for your coaching-value is to answer this question: They want a coach who can ____________
- Don’t stop improving your value, it’s an endless cycle.
I’d love to know what you think about this. Blast me right here.
Let the journey to richer coaching-value begin.