by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportsToday.com
I’ll stick my neck out and guess you haven’t given much thought about what you want your coaching to do.
Sure, you know what coaching CAN do. You’re aware coaching can have a powerful impact, can open doors, can make a mountain out of a molehill.
But have you thought — really thought — about what you WANT your coaching to do?
My Man Buster
I grew up watching silent comedies. Every Saturday afternoon the local PBS station ran old movies from the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Buster Keaton. I was glued to the TV, and I would never miss a Keaton movie. He always held a special attraction to me.
Keaton was/is an amazing artist. He created, designed, and did his own stunts. There was never a second take. If the stunt didn’t work the first time, he threw it out. He knew exactly what he wanted his comedy to do. To engage, grab attention, in an original way. And that’s what separated him from many of his peers, and why he is remembered, almost 100 years later, as one of the greatest.
Imagine what might happen if you did the same — if you knew what you wanted your coaching to do.
Your Coaching Can
Y’see, coaching CAN do many things. Coaching can:
- Add depth to an educational experience
- Teach important life lessons
- Keep kids safe(r) from harsh realities
- Create lasting relationships
- Help craft personal stories
- Connect people with something bigger than themselves
- and thousand of other things
That’s worth a hard stop — because coaching CAN go different ways.
For example, described above are results from positive coaching. You can take that list, put a negative slant on coaching and things are quite different. Negative coaching can:
- Degrade an educational experience
- Teach the wrong life lessons
- Physically, mentally, socially damage athletes
- Destroy relationships
- Help people craft destructive personal stories
- Isolate and alienate
The simple fact is your coaching CAN AND WILL do something — there is no way around that. So, if you don’t know what you want your coaching to do, odds are strong you and your coaching could well end up someplace you don’t want to be.
Action You Can (and should) Take
Here are three actions to consider.
1) Think about your coaching, from the end-perspective. What exactly do you want it to do? Me? I want my coaching to help people develop the skills they need to be successful in life.
Now you. Do you want your coaching to be about winning? Changing the face of a neighborhood? Helping youngsters laugh while in motion? What is it YOU want you coaching to do?
2) Determine how close you are to the end, at this point in time. In my example, I discovered I wasn’t giving the athletes enough leadership opportunities.
How close are you to your end?
3) Build to the end. In my case, knowing I wanted my coaching to help the athletes develop life skills, and realizing I wasn’t giving them enough leadership opportunities, I:
- expanded my captains from one to three
- at least one captain to be a junior
- implemented SAMs (student athlete mentors) for our team
- made other leadership roles available, such as social director, senior coxswain, etc.
- meet with leaders consistently and listened (really listened)
If you know what you want your coaching to do, it may taking nothing more than creative thinking to get there. But, you need to know what you want it to do.
And that is something you and your coaching CAN do.
And One Last Thing
Can you spare 3 minutes? I have a 5 important questions to ask. Your answers will tell me what I should create to best serve you in 2016 – which is exactly what I want to do. It’s my survey — but it’s all about you.
I appreciate your attention, and will never take it for granted.
Thanks for being here. And coach well. We need you now — more than ever.