What if that was the question we asked?
How can I help other guy?
What does this kid need from me as a coach? What am I going to do to move this situation forward?
We all have a narrative about what’s ok and what’s not, who is “good” and who’s not, but how often do we think about what’s actually best for the other guy? Now.
Of course what’s best for the team might be different. Then the questions change.
What can I get you?
How can I help?
What do you need?
Asking (and answering) these questions is not always easy and not always at the front of our mind. As people we typically think of our own needs and wants first, and as coaches are wired to see the answers for others. So, asking for input and demanding that others consider what they want and need–and hold them to it–is a novel idea.
The idea of serving your people isn’t simply bringing them ideas and gifts. It’s allowing exploration and demanding that they show up for themselves.
Coaching is hard.
It’s actually not that hard to just coach, but to be a Coach. That’s hard.
Recently I had a conversation with a coach in which they noted that coaching seemed to be getting harder! More tough conversations, more hard decisions…
As she looked closer it was the simple yet challenging act of communicating and holding everyone to program standards that made it hard.
All change is hard, yet having standards as standard operating procedure makes everything easier. Clarity is queen.
Coach, do you rank your players on various metrics? Maybe even as simple as “he’s an A player, but has a B (or C) attitude”. If you use numbers, does a “1” player with a “3” attitude equate to a kid who’s a “2” in both in your estimation?
Putting aside the fact that I’d like to know your qualifying standards (how do you measure??!?), is averaging the way to go? Do you have a number that you’d like your team to be at?
What’s the optimal combination of traits and of players?
Why not define the standards and hold everyone to all of them instead?
Coaches, be boring.
Spend the time to know-really know-what you care about, what your language is, what the standards are…what’s this thing all about?
If you have a simple set of terms that work for you on and off the field, a glossary that everyone knows, it doesn’t matter if people have a variety of accents.
Coaches who say the same thing over and over, in a language that people understand are not boring, they are consistent and easy to play for.
And they often win.