Why do people choose to coach? Is it for money or love of the game? Is it for altruistic reasons, a need for affiliation, or something else?
I have often wondered if people ask themselves this question or if they “just do it.” The answer is important because understanding your choice will determine whether or not you will be an effective coach.
If you coach simply to win games you may be fulfilled but your players won’t learn much. However, if you coach with the ultimate goal of teaching your players what it takes to succeed in life, then it is a win-win for everyone.
This is what I am passionate about and I will blog each month from a coach’s perspective.
So, what is a coach? By definition, a coach is “a person who trains an athlete or a team of athletes.” However, a coach can be anyone who chooses to empower others. It can be a teacher, a mentor, or a parent. One of my first coaches was my 11th grade math teacher, Mrs. Kimbro, who taught me the concept of “paying it forward.” What that means to me is when a person does something to positively affect your life you actively seek to do the same for others. This can be achieved in several ways, but I, like many others, have chosen to do it with athletics.
Through our work coaches use sports to impart valuable life lessons and develop leaders. I’m not sure all coaches understand the enormous impact we have on the young men and women with whom we interact (often on a daily basis). And I certainly don’t think many coaches realize how we exponentially impact other people through what we teach our athletes.
In my 30 years as an athlete and coach I have learned strategic thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and the value of hard work. I discovered the benefits of competition and the rewards of perseverance and patience. Athletics also helped me develop communication and interpersonal skills. These are all things I use in my daily life and I would not be the person I am without that training. So if you “coach” never underestimate the significance of your contribution. You have a tremendous opportunity to add value to someone’s life. And in return you may actually grow yourself.
Coach Williams has over 25 years of college sports experience. She is committed to building education through sport, using athletics to develop the future leaders of our country. Williams’ book “Coach Like A Mother, A Guide For The 21st Century Sports Coach” is available in November. Her company, HMW Sports Consulting, conducts seminars, consultations and basketball training for coaches and players.
Photo credit: Helen Williams
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