Nice guys don’t finish last, lazy coaches do

Why do most parents end up coaching one of their kid’s teams?  Is it to fulfill their lifelong dreams that they are the next John Wooden?  Is it so they can make their kid the starting quarterback or shortstop? (There will be parents on 99.9% of teams that accuse you of this.)

The reason most parents start coaching is to prevent their child from playing for a bad coach.  A yeller.  A win-at-all-costs coach.  An unorganized time-waster.  Someone who takes the fun out of learning and playing a sport.  That’s why I started coaching.

So since I have the right motives everything will just go great, right?  The parents and kids will see that I am a ‘fun’ coach and love being on this team, right?  No one will care if we get pummeled in most games because we are playing for the right reasons, right?

Don’t make the mistake that I did my first few years of coaching – indirectly teaching your kids that nice guys finish last.  That was a lazy coaching philosophy.  I didn’t do my homework and prepare our team.  I didn’t realize it, but I was teaching the kids that being average was OK.

What I eventually did was research the most effective ways to teach the kids to be excellent.  To be great.  To be awesome.  Preparing a team to win and being a win-at-all-costs coach are two very different things.   A wise coach taught me: “Learn to compete ‘as if to win’, not ‘for the win.’  You can’t control the way the ball bounces or referees’ calls, so winning is not the only objective.  But you can control whether or not you have done everything possible to prepare your team for greatness.

I Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.



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One thought on “Nice guys don’t finish last, lazy coaches do
  1. Scott

    Great stuff as always, Craig. I love this line: “Preparing a team to win and being a win-at-all-costs coach are two very different things. “


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