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May
09

Building A Team Through Leadership

Building A Team Through Leadership

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”

Building a  team is not easy or simple and it is not done in “this way” or “that way”; there is no right or wrong, but there are a lot of factors, work, opportunity, knowledge, experience, and heart that goes into it every single day.

Coaching

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, and has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you can be.”

If you look up coach in the dictionary, you will come across the definition that reads:

  1. An athletic instructor or trainer; educator
  2. An experienced and trusted advisor; one who inspires knowledge, self-confidence, skill and confidence in an individual player or team.
  3. One who has a high level of self-discipline, expertise, patience, and leadership

It is so easily said and simply written, but becoming that trusted mentor is full of ups and downs with high amounts of emotions, in a very broad range; it takes time, experience, and knowledge not just from a book or videos, but from being on the field, traveling with our team, and teaching our athletes as individuals and as a whole. Becoming a great coach isn’t easy; it is a part of our life that can and should always be improved!

As a coach, we are constantly learning, constantly changing, and constantly teaching in a variety of ways depending on the personalities we have within our team. We learn that not every athlete learns or understands us in the same way, so we get creative and research different ways of instructing, teaching, and guiding our athletes. We have failures and we have accomplishments. We have good times and we have bad times. We have moments of gratitude, and we have moments of frustration. We panic, we worry, we laugh, we cry, we smile, and we stress. And although we have seasons that are hard and brooding and some that are exciting and uplifting, every single minute we get to help, guide, teach, and coach our athletes are worth it, every single time.

We are not just coaches that are easily and simply defined, but a person, mentor, guide, inspiration, motivator, mother or father figure, trustworthy confidant, and leader that goes above and beyond to help our athletes reach their highest potential not only on the field, but in life itself. Life and sports are connected, and if we can bring just an ounce of knowledge and perspective to each of our kids every day, we are making a difference.

Contagious Energy

Each team has a variety of personalities and demeanors, work ethic and behavior, and traits of being coachable and disciplined, respect is tested or it is followed, and attitudes are good, bad, or both, because let’s face it, it’s inevitable. But as coaches, we see each athlete’s role on the field and among the team. We see their weaknesses, strengths, problems, and behavior when they are given constructive criticism, tips, or instruction. And we see what each of them are capable of! Once we are able to see the potential of our athletes, it motivates and excited us into helping and creating drills, personalized practice plans, and stepping stones in order to reach their goals, reach their dreams, and overall guide them into being the best version of themselves. As each individual athlete starts to see their progress and reach new goals while seeing positive perspectives and staying motivated and inspired, that energy becomes contagious and forms a bond among the team as a whole. A bond that is strong and full of incentive, purpose, intensity, and heart.

Contagious energy can come from many things such as:

  1. Being on time
  2. Work Ethic
  3. Effort
  4. Body Language
  5. Energy
  6. Attitude
  7. Passion
  8. Being Coachable
  9. Doing Extra Work
  10. Being Prepared

Communication/Comfort Zone

Communication is crucial, but it also takes time to have a good relationship with your athletes. As a coach, communication should not be limited to softball talk, but getting to know your athlete as an individual. When we are able to understand each of them, it helps us and them in forming goals and objectives in order for them to succeed as individuals and as a whole team. We are able to encourage and inspire them, but also help them see themselves in a confident and positive way that leads to diligence, determination, and courage. They will learn how to create goals for themselves, how to look to their future with determination, and work and prepare in the present. They will communicate with questions and observations, so they can learn and grow as athletes. They will become aware of what they are capable of if they set their minds to it and put the work in for it. They will become the best version of themselves when they are not only able to communicate with their coach, but with their present and future teammates and coaches, parents, siblings, friends, peers, professors, and colleagues. Communication is just one factor that will help them open doors, grab onto opportunities, and become who they were meant to be in the highest of regards.

Preparation

As coaches we need to prepare our athletes in the best way we possibly can as they start reaching higher levels within the sport. We cannot go through the motions if we want to be the best coach we can be for them, and to help them become the best version of themselves. We must evaluate and learn their weaknesses and strengths as individual athletes and as a team in order to create drills, practices, and instruction that is tethered for them. If we are doing all that we can to help them succeed by preparing each practice for their success, then we are helping them move past each obstacle they are faced with. We are helping see what they need to work on, and what they are capable of, and overall, how to get there.

Care

Lastly, we must care. If we are coaches, coaches that want to help our athletes reach new levels and to succeed, then we are not just coaches who only strive for winning, but coaches who care about their well-being, their dreams, and who care about their future. Some coaches only care about one thing and place value on it over all else, and that is to win, but I truly believe “winning” is watching your kids grow as athletes, as a team, as young individuals, and watching them reach their dreams.

“Behind every fearless player is a fearless coach who refused to let them be anything but the best they can be.”

Written by Nikoli Sharp

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