The secret to coaching success has nothing to do with game scores

There’s a reason sport films often feature the clichéd coach pep talk — you know the one, where the speech starts out quietly, full of motivational words, and invariably ends with all the players screaming as they run towards their victory. It’s because that’s the part of coaching that encompasses what it is to be a great coach: motivational, inspiring, passionate; the heart and soul of the team.

An article in Huffington Post beautifully elucidates the 35 things that make a brilliant coach. Each point is worthy, and while there are some listed that are specific to coaches, when you break it down, what emerges is that what makes a great coach is what makes a great parent: listening, respect, compassion, engagement, empathy, humour, patience, communication, a positive nature, and flexibility.

Most importantly, what is not on the list is how many times their team is victorious, or the number of all-star athletes on their roster. Just as you wouldn’t call yourself a bad father because your child is having difficulty with math, a strong coach doesn’t consider herself a failure because Billy still can’t get a three-pointer. That coach would just try, as a parent would, to keep Billy motivated, feeling good about himself, and thinking how to teach her player a new way to sharpen his game.

Great coaches aren’t just found in saccharine Disney films and they shouldn’t have to look like Matthew McConnaughey, Josh Lucas, or Denzel Washington to be valued. It’s time to recognize them for all they do to help our kids become better athletes and better people.

We’ll start! We love our own Coach Jim for his passion, dedication, and down to earth approach. You can read his thoughts about the coach as a role model here.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us about a coach who makes a difference in your child’s life in the comment section below, on our Facebook page, or send us a tweet.

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