How To Be a Great Coach
Have you ever been a coach to a neighborhood team? I know how it feels the first time I coached a team of seven-year-old soccer kids and how much they can really test my patience, not to mention sanity as they run around kicking the ball back and forward like ants. It feels strange at first, being stared at by a bunch of kids who just assume you know what you are talking about. Sounds wrong in a sense, right? But it is vital for people to have faith in you if you are going to coach them successfully.
Coaching is all about bringing out the best in people in whatever field you are coaching them. In the corporate world there are also people who take the role of handlers, front-liners and even a couple of benchwarmers biding their time to be given a chance to perform. Some players are MVP material, and others seem contented just being there to support the MVP’s. However, even an underachiever can be a sore loser.
It takes determination to be a coach. These tips will help you with your goal.
1. There is a WHOLE lot of talk these days about Corporate Team Building. There are many, many options: vacation packages, rope courses, on-going office games, ice-breakers, etc. Management can also purchase videos, books, and seminar packages to assist them in building up their organization into a team worthy of belonging. A little later I will give you some ideas of where you can go for information on these team-building tools.
2. The truth about motivation is waiting to be grasped! If you are going to inspire others, you have to become a self motivator first. Don’t settle for less than the best. Take some good training in motivation so that you can begin looking forward to your alarm clock sounding off each morning before you huddle with the team.
3. Any experience that you have in motivating or training people can be brought into play. My example of coaching kids in sport was that kind of case. There is something about being a people person who knows how to stir the energetic side of one individual, and more so when you mix it up with an entire team.
4. To judge a person’s performance is sometimes required, but never question their knowledge or their intelligence out loud. Sadly, I have seen a few mistakes from past coaches who never seem to understand what a person has to go through to learn something new. It can take many failed attempts before a person is successful. Never criticize that but encourage them all the way. If you don’t, they may think they cannot do it and give up.
5. Sending a player to the bench is one of the hardest things a coach has to do, especially if your player is the top performer. Don’t box people in by thinking one is more skilled or less skilled than the others and assuming they will always be that way. Everybody has their talents and their weak points. Appreciate that everybody in the team has something to contribute.
6. Don’t allow your position to blind you to what you are supposed to do. Even coaches are human. You don’t know everything and you don’t have to pretend that you do.
7. At the same time, be clear about what you are teaching. You will not be able to inspire anybody to success unless they trust that you have it right yourself. You need to trust yourself and trust each member of the team. Don’t write somebody off without good reason. If they are having a bad day, have a good chat with him or her and see if they have any problems. Encourage them to do their best despite whatever else is going on for them right now.
I guess there’s all there is to it. Of course, you will have to know your subject. Beyond that, it’s all about delivery. If you have the ability to motivate people, you could start your own coaching business in virtually any sphere.