Ultimately coaching is about the journey that one takes because when I started coaching back in 1988 as a 22-year-old, I knew nothing about coaching, there were very few courses on it and sports coaching books were as rare as hen’s teeth, in other words, non-existent, so I just started on a journey and picked things up as I went.
If you’ve played sport beforehand or even watched a lot of sport, one develops a few ideas about the game that they play or watched, but once you start coaching you realise very quickly that your knowledge gap is huge between what you think you know and what you actually know.
So one of the first things I did was to begin looking around at other sports to see what they did and how they did it, plus I went and did as many coaching course as I could that were available to go on. And as time went on, I did a lot of reading and what I started to find was I was gravitating towards a lot of business books for they seem to cover a lot of ground essential for coaching that the coaching material wasn’t.
That’s when I discovered a lot of the people in the top coaching positions had either an education, law enforcement or business back ground, so the obvious question to ask is what are they learning that sports coaching course aren’t teaching us.
And then having a very successful team blow apart due to new players coming in and coming across a lot of disruptive people, that’s when I did a lot of thinking, and started looking at the difference between a Succeeding Mind and a Failing Mind, and then one day it hit me, I was dealing with Needy People.
And when one begins coaching you learn about all the skills, techniques, tactics, playing structure and how to organise practices but ultimately successful coaching comes down to understanding people.
If You Don’t Understand People, You Don’t Understand Business – Simon Sinek
And my starting point and basic philosophy in coaching now begins with creating people who want to learn and improve, help each other and develop and work to good habits, and fundamentally, that is the basis of successful coaching because:
If you players do not want to learn and improve, the knowledge that you do have becomes irrelevant
Get the buy in, coach the mind, the rest then follows