It takes a tremendous amount of effort to become a good coach. You watch a lot of film, carry on tons of research and spend countless hours strategizing before each matchup. However, truly encompassing the essence of greatness involves much more than performing assigned duties.
A great coach is on the clock 24/7. He or she realizes that they have not only chosen a career, but also a lifestyle.
A coach has to be the example for their athletes and the community.
Athletes, parents and community members all mimic the actions of a coach. Are they rude and obnoxious or kind and polite? Are they heartless individuals or empathetic confidants? Your behavior in and out of competition will define you as a coach.
A great coach is a teacher, mentor and counselor. There are numerous athletes that are in need of direction, and they trust the advice and judgement of their coach. These athletes occasionally have no one to talk to about their personal problems besides the facilitator of the team.
If you're a current coach, try taking an interest in the everyday lives of your athletes. Find out what's going on in their household. Check on their grades, not just for eligibility purposes, but because you want them to succeed in life. Involve yourself in the lives of the athlete in any way that you can that is appropriate: help them find a tutor or a job or assist them in college choices and career readiness.
The most lasting effect that a coach may have on an athlete is their attitude. Always provide constructive criticism. Always remain positive and encouraging, regardless of an athlete's ability.
Remember, coaches not only prepare athletes for competition, they prepare them for the future.
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