After being promoted to an assistant coaching role at Saint Mary’s College, our head coach asked the staff to write down “why we coach.”
Three weeks of recruiting and travel gave me ample time to reflect & write. I came home excited to share my journey with our staff.
Since the assignment was vague and open-ended, we all took a different approach. I know now the assignment’s value was in learning that listening matters more than talking.
I was beginning to get out of my head and understand my fellow coaches, paying attention to and appreciating their coaching values. By hearing their experiences and seeing their willingness to share, I knew we were headed down the same path.
Pro-tip: Don’t assume you’re going to the same place, just because you’re navigating the same map.
Too often, our coaching journey is a lonely road focused on our own experiences, and as a result, we operate in a silo.
When we identify and share our intentions, we provide stronger support for each other. If we get this right, we have a real chance to present a united front when serving our players, teams, and communities.
Building a team of coaches is just as important as building a team of players.
We know this but rarely prioritize it. Investing in coaches IS an investment in our athletes. They’re not mutually exclusive. We actually create compounding interest.
I share this with you because I believe now, my first lesson was the best lesson – and it took me too long to realize it.
I ended my one-page statement with a quote from Gary Walton’s book, Beyond Winning:
“To coach is to believe in something: the game, the athlete, the quest for excellence, the process of challenging one’s self, and striving to overcome.”
As we embark on our individual journey of challenging oneself, I hope we also actively accompany our fellow coaches on theirs, believing in the same quest while striving and overcoming together.