Blogging since May 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Your Job as a Coach

1. Inspire and lead.


That's it. Sure there are many details that can be debated, but you are required to inspire and lead.

If you do those things, everything else will work out, maybe not always the way you think they should, but it will work out.

Friday, August 28, 2015

What is Leading?

Some people are natural born leaders. You can see it when groups of little kids are playing or running around. They are the ones who are deciding what will be done and then who will do what. They're the ones choosing sides and deciding what sport will be played. There are those who try to do that, but no one likes them or follows. And if they do listen and follow, they're not happy about it.

Then there are those who can learn to lead. Not everyone can learn to do this. But, everyone can find out what type of leader they will be. Again, if no one is following or is happy about how you lead, then rethink what you do.

What I've found is that people will follow you if you are willing to do what they all do. You must be willing to get dirty, you must be willing to "lower" yourself to do every job that the lowliest to the highest job there is and to do it well without complaining.

People will respect and follow that more than they will the dictator today. It's our society where everyone with an opinion believes they are equal to the person in charge. They want authenticity. They want to feel that you understand them and if you do, they will follow.

Sure, there will be some who won't. In fact, they want to be leaders so bad they cannot stand that when they try to lead, they're only out on a walk because no one follows. Not everyone can be a leader, but you can be the best follower possible.

Or you can cause problems.

The choice is yours.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Things Coaches Wish Parents Knew

Recently, a teacher had her elementary students write "Things I wish my teacher knew" essays. It was heart wrenching some of the answers that were written.

Just today a writer in the local News and Tribune has written an article about what teachers wish parents knew, good stuff, click here to read.

And it really got me to thinking about what coaches wish parents knew. I can say that my perspective as a coach AND a parent has helped in this endeavor.

1. We care about your kids...a lot. We want them to be successful and help our team to be successful. We really do.

2. We have nothing against your kid. Even if they have done something heinous, we don't have an issue with them.

3. We see your kids in a different light. We see them at school interacting with their classmates and their teammates in ways that you don't always get to see.

4. You may not like the role we've given your child, but it is still their role. It's a role that probably all of the assistant coaches have agreed on. We often see our children as better than they really are...coaches are removed from that.

5. We deal with the same issues with our own children. I find myself fighting all of the things I wish parents would not do as a coach.

6. We want to win. We are going to play your child if that helps us win. If it doesn't, we won't. Sometimes they struggle in situations that you want them to thrive in, we keep them from failure by doing so. You can't see that because you are so emotionally connected to the situation.

7. We have watched films, read books, played, coached, and are usually highly qualified to do the job we have. Your watching college basketball games does not equal the same thing. Coaching a team, dealing with individuals and then collectively is a hard art to perfect and in our ever changing world, it gets harder and harder.

8. We will not always sugar coat how we speak with your child. Competition is like's hard. We are trying to toughen them up physically and mentally to help in their competition, but ultimately in dealing with life.

9. Don't come up to us after a loss or even after a win and give us your two cents. After a loss, we are hyper sensitive to criticism and after a win, any critique will not come off well.

10. You have one issue or maybe several issues when it comes to us, we are dealing with multiple players as well as parents, grandparents, girlfriends, school boards, administrators, other students in the building, officials, assistants, camps, travel, scouting, enforcing rules, AND trying to be a good spouse and parent.

11. If you have great ideas about how I should coach, why haven't you coached? Why have you turned down the opportunity when it presented itself to you? But understand even if you have coached, coaching the 5th grade team is nothing like coaching at the varsity level.

12. If you think I'm not putting enough time and effort into coaching the team, it's probably because our spouse thinks we're not putting enough time and effort into our family.

13. Not everything we say makes it into the local paper after a game. And not everything we say is in context of your presupposition.

14. I can guarantee you that we will not hold anything against your child because of something you say or do. We very easily could hold it against you though.

15. We, probably, all want the same things. For your child and the team to be successful.

Monday, August 24, 2015

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Pastor Martin Niemoller
I think today, we could say something like this...
First they came for Native Americans and I said nothing. 
Then they came for African Americans and I said nothing. 
Then they came for the babies of the poor and I said nothing. 
When I finally did say something I was attacked, ridiculed and treated in a hostile I became silent again. 

I'm so ashamed. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

There's Nothing Quite Like Being a Parent


I tend to be honest. At least to the point that I won't get punched in the face. But I am as honest as can be with "new waiting to have a child" parents.

They're the ones who are pregnant and months away from birth and everyone tells them (ok, mostly women) how wonderful it's going to be and how much fun, etc., etc. And I don't disagree, being a parent can be amazing. CAN be amazing.

It's almost as if these people forget about the late, sleep deprived, kid won't stop crying, has some type of rash, sleeping on the bathroom floor while the hot shower runs for croup (you'll figure it out sooner than later), they won't sleep longer than 30 minutes at a time, they want to sleep with you nights.

They seem to forget the late nights and the early mornings. They seem to forget the won't eat days and the lock the cabinets because they snack and don't want to eat real food. They seem to forget those times when you want to throw them against the wall (it's okay to think it, it is NEVER okay to do it).

They seem to forget so much.

But maybe it's because the good far outweighs the bad. Maybe it's because the hug of your own child feels better than anything you could actually put into or onto your body. Maybe it's because the "I love you" from your child is the sweetest sound ever. Maybe it's because when they accomplish something new you get more fulfillment than from anything you've ever done.

Maybe it's because being a parent is the greatest gift you can receive from God.

Just maybe.

Or maybe they just want to lull you into a position of security so you can be shocked into reality like the rest of us.

I would never change what I've gone through with my kiddos. I know I have messed up, I just hope it hasn't been that bad and that I can always apologize when it happens.

As bad as they can be is one of those days where I just want to hold onto them and keep them forever young because the days is fast approaching where they will be grown and moving out.

Too fast approaching...