The challenge that most coaches are facing is that they have refused to accept that change has occurred without their permission. The entire time they were doing things the “Old School Way” they forgot to look out the window and see that the landscape changed right before their very eyes. Now there is a massive internal struggle to rationalize and justify the way they’ve always done things which is not returning the success it used to with the reality that to become a contender they have to accept they must change just like the landscape did!
So today we have this war between the old and the new. Unfortunately, regardless of which side you are on (the old or the new) the other side plays a huge part in the success you need to advance your career. That’s right – the coaches NEED THEIR players to perform at their very best so they can reach their career goals just like the players need their coaches to be at their very best in developing them to reach their full potential so they can reach their goals. This is where everyone gets all a flutter! Fortunately if you learn where to invest your time with your athletes you will get their very best and that is the best thing for your career!
I watched a program run off 4 players, that means they will not even be at the school, with another 7 players who are committed to not playing next year – all over a commitment to an outdated coaching philosophy that does not have the players best interest in mind. There is a key element to the Old School mentality that lands in a vast wasteland with the athletes of today – Athletic Trust. It is this element in athletics today that will drive a teams success or failure far faster than the talent on the field, court, mat or diamond.
In the “Old” days you could earn trust with winning percentages or championships. In today’s world that is not a reality. I often hear coaches talking about their winning percentages and how that should make their athletes listen and fall in line, my question to them is always the same: “has that worked in the past 10 years?” The resounding answer is always – no – or – some kids respond to it, showing their commitment to being right instead of successful.
The athletes that you coach today require you to invest in the relationship that you have with them. Today’s athlete requires a much deeper commitment than wins and losses to earn their trust. It is this commitment to building solid, fundamental relationships that earns the athletes trust. When you have invested enough to earn the athletes trust, THEN AND ONLY THEN will you get the BEST VERSION of that athlete. That is the key to success. Understanding this concept may actually mean you will decide to not be a coach any longer – why you ask?
The time investment into building the relationships with every player on your team is non-negotiable and massively significant. It requires a level of sacrifice in the other areas of your life (spouse, children, vacation, financial resources and even sleep) that very few are willing to make. What most coaches do is only build relationships with a few of the members of the team and then demand compliance using the “old school” rationalization. Then when the accusations of favoritism and ineffective coaching practices start flying around, it is more of a reality than a fantasy.
If your goal as a coach is to get the very best out of every athlete on your team, no matter what their position or level of contribution, then it is essential that you make adjustments to your communication and leadership style. We all know that the most successful coaches are the ones that make the right adjustments! It’s time for you to look out the window and see that the landscape has changed and make the appropriate adjustments.
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For 23 years Coach Brandt has been a successful winning coach. He has coached thousands of young men in the sports of wrestling, football, track, and baseball. His pedigree includes state champions, state championships, All-Americans, and now one of his former All-American wrestlers is an MMA championship fighter. He has a Bachelor and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and he has completed his coursework for his Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Coach Brandt’s knowledge of leadership and inspiration has made him a program turn-around specialist, taking programs that have either been traditionally unsuccessful or have fallen on hard times and turns them into winners! Read more at www.7SecondCoach.com
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