by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportsToday.com
I’ve found that most coaches expect an experience at either end of this scale:
Those expectations are usually based on strong reasons such as:
- All my best athletes have graduated/transferred/quit/moved
- We have the best recruiting-class ever
- These parents/my boss are out to get me, look how bad they act.
- The other teams are terrible. We can’t lose.
You’ve probably whispered those or something similar. I have.
You might be correct.
But … what if you’re wrong?
What IF your reality is different than your expectations?
You expect to lose; but you won — are you prepared?
You expect troublesome parents; but they are warm and caring — are you ready?
You expect terrible refs; but, instead, they are the best refs you’ve ever had — what now?
Action You Can (and should) Take
Preparing for the experience you truly believe is possible (“With the right processes in place, this could be a good recruiting year.”) is smart.
Preparing for the exception to the rule, that outside chance, the one-in-a-million outcome, (“Amazing, I can’t believe she just committed to our school!!”) is what makes an exceptional coach.
But you have limited, time, energy, attention.
How do you prepare for the unexpected? Three simple suggestions:
Make the unexpected expected: create an atmosphere of flexibility, and reaction. More importantly, be proactive. Plan ahead.
Delegate (what you can): Remove as much as you can from your plate, so you will have extra brain-width for a time when you’ll need it.
Be ready in the moment: regardless of all the types of experiences you have prepared for, there will still be that unexpected experience lurking. Be in the moment and prepared to move fast, and breathe deeply when you need it most.
The unexpected experience makes coaching special, as long as you are expecting it.