You Don't Have to Take itMay 30, 2022
Coaching can feel like you’re trying to solve a puzzle without all the pieces. Coaching can feel like a constant compromise where keeping everyone happy is impossible. Coaching can feel like you’re chasing everyone else’s needs instead of getting your own and following your north star.
No matter how much you sacrifice to your program, someone will always be unhappy. The best part is… You don’t have to take it. Take back your team by leading from the heart and telling the truth. Don’t make decisions from a placer of fear and enjoy coaching like never before. Trust me, I’ve worked with coaches who beg players to play, who deal with entitled parents, and who live in a fear from their assistants that think they know better. My heart breaks for coaches that toil for little pay and less gratitude. Coaches shouldn’t have to be paralyzed by fear and frustrated by their environment.
The good news is… There’s hope. You can take transform your program into something you’re proud of and make coaching fun again.
Give Your Best
Commit to giving your absolute best to your program, don’t fixate on results. With a full heart, commit to excellence.
Tell The Truth
Much of your pain results from things you know and do not do. You will suffer in direct proportion to how long you postpone telling players, parents, and administration the truth. Truth telling gains others’ respect. When you’re not honest, you lose the program.
Don't Get Offended
Others opinions of you have nothing to do with you. All they are is a mere result of their own reality. When you don’t take things personally, you will cease to be a victim of others actions. This freedom eliminates needless suffering.
Lower your standards and you’ll lose the high achievers. The moment you compromise your standards, you’ve told your team what you’ll allow. That which you allow, you encourage. High standards will scare off low achievers. Higher your standards.
Friction is good! Teams that are scared to disagree aren’t going anywhere special. Set the rules for respectful disagreement. Model it and game it out. Have tough conversations early and often. Adversity creates friction. Friction develops grit. Gritty teams win.
Data Driven Decisions
Have objective evidence for each decision you make. This will help you eliminate your own blind spots. And at the same time, allow you to know and share your WHY with players and parents. If you do it, measure it.
Opt-in Over Buy-in
If you wait for others to buy-in, you are basing your game on hope. This will lead you to disappointment and frustration. Instead offer choice. Give your program the option to commit to your standards, then they choose the contract. You’re only holding them accountable to their own commitment. Autonomy wins.
Humans will do more to avoid pain than they will to achieve pleasure. When people fall short of team standards or don’t fulfill a commitment, be sure to deliver the agreed upon consequence. It should hurt.
Raise The Stakes
Every season you must be prepared to lose 10% of your team. The “cost” of participation must go up. Your program is either being influenced by the top 10% or the bottom 10%. Make it too “expensive” for the bottom 10% to stick around.
Go All In or Move On
Identity Commits. Once you are clear on who you are as a coach and what it means to be a part of your program, don’t hold back! Excellence has no use for half measures. Commit to the act like a criminal commits to a crime.
I know this is an uncompromising word. It might scare you… and it should. You should question whether you can do it. You should wonder if you have the resolve necessary to lead a program to excellence. You may decide that it’s not for you and that’s ok. You can still love and serve your program. You will just fall short of excellence and constantly have to deal with complaining.
Although, I’ll warn you… You must be prepared to carry the water until you quit from the exhaustion and frustration of trying to cater to everyone’s vision but your own.
I’m here to help,
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