In part two of Advice for a young coach, we start with the
concept of coaching as a partnership versus a dictatorship. What does this
mean? The goal should be to take athletes from dependence to independence, not
the other way around. The goal of the coach shouldn’t be to prove their worth,
but instead it’s to help the athlete foster independence so that they can be
adaptable and ready under a wide range of situations, so that they are ready
for whatever is coming at them.
From there we delve into what coaching actually is. Is it
about collecting accolades, padding our resume’s, hitting PR’s, or is it about
something else? Jon and I make the argument that it’s about development of
people. Not just about hitting certain times, but developing people’s skills
that not only help within the world of track and field, but also translate
across life. One of the myths that comes along with that is that, excitement is
dependent on the level of athlete you are working with. There is a great
misnomer that the faster a person runs that you coach, the more enjoyment you
get out of it, when the truth is that coaching is coaching, regardless of
level. Along the same lines of this idea, is the trickle down effect where
ideas/training/concepts come from the pro’s to the college to the HS level.
Finally, we summarize our thoughts with discussing how
coaching should be about leaving your “space” in a better position than you
found that. It’s about developing the culture, the team, and the circle that
you have around you.
In the end, Jon put it best when he says that coaching is
about relationships. We should continue to treat people with respect, kindness,
and dignity, and above all treat people like actual people. If you work hard,
accomplish that goal, then opportunities will present themselves.
As always, thanks for listening,
Steve & Jon
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