Professional coaches make it look easy
It is a scene we’ve seen a thousand times. Professional coaches patrolling the sidelines in various sports dressed to the nines … well except for American football – they wear track suits and polo shirts.
Watching them operate their benches in high-priced suits, it is easy to tell they know exactly what they’re doing, what they want to do and when to do it. They control every situation they find themselves in.
Even when they’re jumping and waving their arms with ties flopping around like a tree in a wind storm, these coaches make being angry at an official look easy. See, they do all of this with a plan in mind.
They’re really trying to look for a call. Getting angry is just one way of doing so. If that doesn’t work, they’ll switch to a running conversation with the official.
These coaches make it look easy. We amateurs can only hope to achieve that level of comfort when it comes to running our own teams.
Trust me, coaching a team in any sport isn’t the easiest task. You’re learning on the fly with each command you make at the beginning of every year. There is always some turnover — rarely are you blessed with the same team two years in a row.
Sure, there are some of the same athletes from year to year, but not enough that the full team has been learning the same message for multiple seasons.
That means coaching is not just about knowing the game and knowing what you want to do with your team. You have to manage players, personalities and in certain situations parents.
You’ve got to learn to trust a part of yourself you may not have trusted before. It’s not easy. In fact, it is probably the hardest part of the whole process.
Choosing what to eat for dinner is the easiest decision in the world by comparison. Knowing which player to throw out there seems like the hardest decision you’ll ever make.
For all intents and purposes, you’ve got the fate of a dozen-plus people hanging on your every move. Professional coaches make it look easy when really it is just causes stress.
Throw in parents and it’s even worse. Some parents want to micromanage from the stands. They stand around the locker room discussing line combinations and how the bench should be run, all within earshot of the coaching staff.
You’ve seen them at all the arenas. Those who know more than the coach, but refuse to be accountable and step behind the bench themselves.
It is just another aspect you have to manage as a coach. Through it all, you have to stick to your guns and trust you’re doing right by your team.
When you’ve come to peace with that, this coaching game is pretty fun.
You’ve got to learn to trust a part of yourself you may not have trusted before.