I’m looking for the truth: Coaches will you help me?

20. March 2024
Autor článku & Member of Headformers

As part of our headformers ongoing effort to push the boundaries of performance and improve team dynamics, we work closely with coaches. This collaboration is key, whether it’s working with a specific team or educating coaches on how to manage their teams.

The coach, as the centre of the team, has a major impact on the team’s atmosphere and performance – both in a positive and negative sense. He works in an environment where he perceives pressure from parents or club management. The environment pushes for results and people are not always interested in how the team has progressed but whether they have won the game. One of the first questions I ask a youth coach is:

"Is player development more important to you or results?"

Dear coach, you state that your primary goal is player development. At the beginning of the cooperation and when the team is winning games, you try, you communicate, you ask me questions about how to develop a relationship with the player. Your effort to understand your players is very sympathetic, you are interested in the players and you try to get to know them.

But what suddenly changes when the situation is not ideal? One, or two losses, and the atmosphere changes. Your behavior is gone. You start yelling at the kids you’re coaching, throwing your arms around, losing your temper at the game, kicking the bottle. You don’t understand that they don’t understand you.

You follow the game with criticism with no meaningful focus. No individual conversation, no constructive feedback only emotion. You expect this will bring change and for the players to “get it”.  But this change needs to happen „in you“. You call me after a loss and swear at your team, how they don’t care that they lost, how nothing works there, how you have no leader, and how everyone abandons each other when the game gets tough. You want a miracle solution from me because “they” are wrong.

You are waiting for me to take charge and tell you what to do. You often disagree with me because I don’t give you the nod. You forget that even though your team are athletes, they are still just people – children and young people trying to find their place not only on the field but also in life. Your job as a coach is not only to teach them how to be better at sports but also how to be stronger in life.

This leads us to the question: Is your real concern the development of your players, or are you a coach primarily focused on results?

The key is to be mercilessly honest with yourself. We are often blind to our own attitudes and actions. Are we really aware of our true goals and act accordingly? That’s why I ask this question of every coach: Think about what you publicly declare, and then ask yourself honestly in front of the mirror – are you living up to your words? How are you really behaving and what is the real value that drives your actions?

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