Straightforward Uncomfortable Truths that Every Player Development Coach should not Forget

April 19, 2014

 

1) You do not make the player. The player makes him or herself when placed in the right environment.  You and the people around him or her just contribute - hopefully in a positive way.

 

2) They are never your players. Players pass through your program, and if you are lucky and can provide what they need throughout the different developmental stages, you will be able to work with them for several year. Make sure you let them go when you can no longer provide what they require to go to the next level.

 

3) No one can steal your players. When someone leaves your program it is not because another coach stole him/her.  The player chooses to leave when another program offers him/her something they want that you are not providing

 

4) Your best player is not a true reflection of your coaching ability. Having a great player does not automatically make you a great coach.  I have seen many amazing players come out of less than optimal environments. If you really want to judge your coaching ability, base it on the average improvement level of all the players in your program.

 

5) You are not the best option for every player. Every player is different and has different needs.  You may be much more qualified than other coaches but another coach may be a better match to what the player needs at a specific moment in time.

 

6) You may be losing perspective! Player development is a tough business so when finally an outstanding player emerges from your program you may be tempted to get a bit carried away by your great coaching ability.  When that happens, think back to all the players that you have coached and have not been able to help as much as you wanted.  That may put things in perspective.

 

7) Your understanding of the game may not be as infallible as you think.  High performance coaches get extremely defensive when someone questions their beliefs. Keep evolving and question your assumptions periodically. After all, not too long ago, if someone had talked to us about semi-western grips, open stances, jumping off the ground and heavy spin through the use of the forearm and wrist, we would have thought he/she was clueless.

 

8) You may not understand your job! Complaining about having to deal with pushy parents and immature athletes is like a doctor complaining about having to deal with sick people all the time.  That is your job as a high performance coach.  You get paid to educate and make it work!

 

9) Could it be you are just pretending to be a high performance coach? If you choose to get involved coaching high performance players, be a high performance coach. Demand the same intensity, dedication and discipline from yourself than you do from your players.  Be the best possible version of yourself. Be in optimal shape, keep improving your game, keep developing your knowledge and "show up every day! (100%)." The margin between good and great in high performance is minimal. Everything counts!

 

10)  There are many important things that you can't control. There are many factors that determine the ultimate performance level of a player: physical attributes, basic character, family dynamics, economic stability, overall environment, coaching, etc.  Unfortunately, you can only control your training environment and methodology.  For all the rest, you can only hope.

 

Coaching competitive players is an uphill battle. There is always a crisis around the corner. Accept it and enjoy the process.

 

 

 

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