Every coach on a staff has a role (sometimes more than one), but the key to a successful staff is the presence is a “go-to” coach. This is not the coach who everyone dumps work on, but rather the coach everyone looks to in times of adversity. The coach everyone knows they can count on for help both professionally and personally.
When tough times hit, are you the one everyone looks to, or the coach people avoid? Here are five things you can do to become the “go-to” coach on your staff:
Be Humble, Be Grateful, and Be Thankful
All human beings have ego. Those who let their ego become their defining characteristic are never effective leaders. Those who suppress their ego for a greater cause are easy to love and to follow. Giving thanks and showing humility endears you to those you lead. Make a habit of it.
Don’t Burn Bridges
Often, in difficult conversations, we are faced with an internal conflict as to whether to take the high road or get just one “dig” in on our way out the door. As satisfying as it may feel at the time, it is ALWAYS regretted in hindsight. Worse, the more cutting the comment is, the more damage it does to you and your reputation. The offended party is released of all guilt and feels vindicated because you showed your “true colors” on your way out. Be known as the coach who does not get rattled and keep your cool during these conversations.
Remember the Big Picture and Keep Perspective
It is very easy to get caught up in our own problems. We are the ones going through them and having to deal with them, and it is easy to let them consume us. When you hit a rough patch, take a step back. Count your blessings and take notice of your surroundings. Things are never as bad as you think. Stay focused on your long-term vision and on the process you are following to make that vision come true. At the same time, be cognizant of the problems other coaches and players may be going through and help lift them up whenever possible.
Value Relationships with Those You Work With
How often do you take the time to thank the people around you who do the little things to make your job easier? Coaches, do you know the first names of the custodians who clean up after you every night? Do you go out of your way on a regular basis to thank the secretary in your office who does the busy work so you can live your dream? Do you tell your family and your closest colleagues that you appreciate them every day? Nothing in life is more important than relationships. The more you value them, the happier you will be, and the more you will get out of them.
Love What you Do and Embrace the Opportunities to Do It
Find a way to do what you love for a living and you never work a day in your life. Coaches get this as well as any group I have been around, but even we need to be reminded of this occasionally. Let your passion for your work show and share it with others. Doing so automatically inspires them to work harder and share their passion as well. You can be the light that shapes your staff and your program by allowing others to see the light your passion turns on in you.
Those in the coaching profession understand the importance of team chemistry. We strive to build it with our players in order to win battles on the court. We should also be working to build it within our coaching staff in order to win battles off the court! Your players will pick up on the vibe your coaching staff emits, whether positive or negative. You have a choice every day as to whether you want to embrace the ideals listed above or worry about yourself and your own career; however, it is much more rewarding to be the “go-to” guy, and your servant leadership will make you a coach others seek out and respect!