Did I really just do that? – Being a great gameday coach Part 8 of 8

Being a coach is such an amazing opportunity to be engaged with and influence young people. Billy Graham once said:
‘A coach will influence more people in 1 year than most people will in a lifetime’
Yet it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and lose perspective when in the heat of the moment of the game. In the podcast interviews I do with coaches, I always ask about their biggest ‘cringe’ moment from their coaching experiences – and the vast majority of answers I get involve their behavior towards officials, other coaches, or parents.  The reason we regret these type of actions so much is that we know there are a bunch of little eyes watching us, and those kids will emulate what they see. You can give all the speeches you want to the kids about character and integrity, but what really will influence their behavior is how you behave. Here are a few simple things to focus on to make sure you are acting like the type of person you want the kids to emulate:
  • Be present. In practices and games. This starts as soon as warmups begin. Turn off your cell phone. This isn’t time to chat with the parents or referees or former players, that can happen afterwards, you need to be focused if you want the the kids to be focused.
  • Do you yell at the referees or your players?  Then don’t be surprised when the kids you coach yell at their teammates and/or referees.
  • Recognize greatness – on both teams.  Tell a kid from the other team ‘nice shot’ when he goes by your bench. This is contagious.
  • Be excited to be there, have passion for the game, relax and enjoy the experience.

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