by Mike Davenport, Coaching Sports Today
Have you thought about it—your legacy? And what it will be??
(Hint–if you’re like most coaches you have NOT.)
What will people say about you when you stop coaching?
(Another hint–if you’re like most coaches you will say “I don’t care! But you WILL care.)
I’ve recently retired from full-time coaching, after 36 years. And during that time, I can’t remember ever thinking of my “coaching legacy.”
And if I did, I’m sure I dismissed it as a fantasy of the egotistical.
I was wrong.
Now that I’m mostly done coaching, that legacy has value to me.
Y’know, it IS an egotistical thing.
But deep down, thinking about your coaching legacy can help you be a better coach.
To make better decisions.
Even be a better human being.
What Are They Saying
If you were a fly on the wall, and people were talking about you, would they be saying:
- Well, Coach tried hard
- He cared
- Coach was a magician
- He understood what I went through
- My life so much better because of Coach
Or comments like these:
- Coach was lazy
- He cared only about winning
- Coach never tried new stuff
- He never understood me
- My health/life is worse because of him
Here’s a truth you need to hear
You are going to leave a coaching legacy. One way or another.
Things will be said about you.
After one day or after thirty years—the length of time you coach does not matter.
What do you want them to say?
How do you want to be remembered?
Coaching is hard.
Okay, it’s not working-in-a-coal-mine hard, or teaching-quantum-physics hard…
But coaching does have a level of difficulty that can sway a coach toward a bad legacy.
And leaving a legacy you and your family are happy with takes hard work.
A great car chase won’t atone for two hours of a lousy movie.
Just as one big win for a coach does NOT erase a season of abusive, negative behavior.
Your legacy is a comprehensive exam in the making.
Every interaction as a coach matters.
Right now—grab paper, write your legacy down, and start building.
It will (and does) matter.