Here is some advice for young coaches from my experiences. This advice reflects lessons that I learned, no need to make the same the same mistakes I made.
- Be prepared to pay your dues, you don’t enlist the army as a general.
- Practice humility- No matter what your athletic or academic accomplishments you are going to have to prove yourself as a coach. Check you ego at the door.
- Keep Learning- Keep a note book of your ideas and observations. Write in it as often as possible. It will be an invaluable reference as you progress through your career. I have filled Moleskin notebooks in my 43rd year of coaching.
- Listen and watch – You have two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason.
- Dress Professionally- That should not need explanation.
- Be fit, look the part.
- Learn the culture of the sport(s) you are working with ASAP. Do your homework.
- Be the first to arrive and the last to leave- Earn your stripes.
- Never let anyone outwork you. Forget what you are being paid work until you get the job done.
- Do the grunt work, in fact volunteer for it.
- If you are working with athletes that don’t speak English learn the language, it will open doors for you.
- File the theoretical peer reviewed stuff you learned in class. You are in the real world now, on the job it is about producing results, make the athletes better.
- Maintain professional distance from your athletes you are not their friend you are their coach.
- Rome wasn’t built in a day learn patience it takes time.
- Coaching is a profession – Never lose sight of that.
- The head coach is the boss. Be loyal and respectful.
- Never forget coaching is not about sets and reps or X’s and O’s it is about people.
When it is all said and done be sure that you have had as many experiences as possible not one experience many times. Enjoy the journey, we are fortunate to be coaches.