The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Coaching

By March 7, 2015Blog
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“Good coaches teach for generations. Their tireless work turns sons into fathers.”

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A few weeks back I sat at a youth basketball game where my good friend Marc, had a son playing. Due to some unfortunate delays, the game didn’t start until 8:30pm. On a school night. The kids were tired before the game started and their performance in the first half showed. In the end, they won the game easily but not without incurring the wrath of their head coach. As I sat their watching this man “coach” I made the following observations and jotted them down in my phone:

Ugly coaches wish they were on the field. They have no clue what they want or need – they project their abstract desires on their unsuspecting (players) victims.

Bad coaches react. They read what just happened to them – then react accordingly with what should have happened. At best, with enough experience – they may be able to project what they think will happen only because of the years of pain and suffering they’ve put their players though. At this point, they’ve reached the pinnacle of their coaching career: mediocrity.

Good coaches have a plan. They practice the plan. They teach and correct according to the plan. They then play an opponent in such a way as to force the opponent to change THEIR plan. If a good coaches plan fails to initiate, he doesn’t cut and run or abandon all hope. He projects a new course of action with specific instructions to counter this unforeseen obstacle. Good coaching isn’t a direct byproduct of volume or tone. It comes with efficient communication. Sometimes, direct and forceful words/tone are the most efficient way to communicate the message (especially to a fellow alpha male) – but it never comes at the expense of the athlete. It comes out of the desire for a better result than the player can physically give on his own. This is the single greatest characteristic of a great coach. Bad and even ugly coaches can come across teams who win in spite of their efforts. Good coaches make boys better. In turn, they teach for generations. Their tireless work turning sons into fathers.

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Erik Hansen

Author Erik Hansen

Husband, father, son and brother - usually in that order. Love thee God, Family and Notre Dame. Available for hire as a war time consigliere.

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