10 Things... (Lambton Shores Minor Hockey)

Print10 Things...

Ten Things You Don't Learn in Coaching School

Original by Chuck Struhar,

Athletic Director, Long Reach H.S., Columbia, MD

Excerpted from Coach & Athletic Director magazine, published byScholastic, Inc. 555 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 - used withpermission.

I know, I know...you played the sport in college,took the CPR course, attended a clinic, and you are now ready to launchyour career as a coach.Well, after 30 years of coaching, I have discovered that there arealways a few things that no one ever taught you and that are vital toyour coaching success.

Here are the 10 things that someone ought to have taught you:

1. Not everyone will like you.No matter how many games you win, not everyone is going to consider youthe greatest coach who ever lived! Particularly the athletes you don'tplay, the parents of an athlete you had to discipline, or the opposingcoach. When criticism is voiced, ignore it. Do what you think isright...chances are it will be. If you intend to stay in theprofession, you will have to learn to live with criticism. And as youachieve more and more success, you can expect to receive more and morecriticism. The whole world doesn't love a winner.

2. Try to play everyone.It is very difficult to play every athlete in every game but you haveto make a sincere effort to do so. Put yourself in the position of theone player who didn't get into the game. (Do you remember when you werethat age?) Isn't he going to think that since you picked him for theteam, you surely must have seen something in him that led you tobelieve he was a player. Sit down with him before the next game and lethim know that you are going to give him playing time. Have an assistantremind you of it at the appropriate time.

3. Never run up the score.I have been on both sides of the fence, and this is not what sports areabout. Do not use the excuse that "there was nothing I could do."Wrong! There are many things that you could have done. Find a way tokeep the score respectable.

4. Be on time...everywhere.That goes for practices, games, meetings, and conferences. It will setthe tone for your entire program. Always be the first one to show upand your team will pick up on it. It will be difficult to criticize aplayer for being late when you yourself are paying no attention to therule. That kind of thing will detract from your professionalism.

5. Make sure you and your team look good.Before each game, make sure your team is dressed appropriately and thatthey are wearing uniforms as they were designed to be worn. And, makesure that you are dressed to coach. Wear a shirt with your team/schoollogo. Be proud of your program and school. An old coach I admired usedto call it "dressing out" for practice and games. Check the opposingteam and coach. Do you look as good as they do? Believe me, peoplenotice how you and your team look. Even old uniforms can look classywhen worn correctly.

6. Improve yourself.Make a sincere effort to read books about your sport, attend a clinic,write an article, speak to a youth group, hold a clinic, talk withanother coach about your sport, watch a college practice, etc. Givesomething back to the sport. You and your program will benefit greatly.

7. When bad things happen, go back to fundamentals.When you hit a losing streak - and you will - put the trick plays backin the playbook and get back to fundamentals. Spend time watching thesuperior teams in any sport and you will notice that they all have onething in common: They are fundamentally sound. Go back and do the mostbasic drills, and good things will start happening.

8. Minimize your pep talks.The longer you coach, the firmer this rule should become. When you haveto talk to your team, do so. But, after 20 "when I was your age..."talks, kids will stop listening. Spend more time talking to individualathletes. One of the best things you can do is set five minutes asideeach day to talk with one of your athletes about his/her value to theteam. This practice will work wonders

9. Never criticize the officials in public.In 30 years of coaching I have encountered incompetent and downrightbad officials, but never a biased one. Do not criticize them in thenewspapers or in front of your team. It will merely give your team anexcuse for losing. If you have a problem, take it to the supervisor ofthe officials and you will accomplish a lot more. Do it privately, andwith respect, and you will get the issues addressed.

10. Spend time with the average players.Let your assistants work with the superstars. You work with theathletes who will be batting 7-8-9 or the ones who have a 40%free-throw average. Make them feel important and they will improve byleaps and bounds. Your assistants will enjoy this practice, and youraverage players will appreciate the attention. I hope these 10 ruleswill help your program. The X's and O's are certainly important, butpaying attention to even one of the "top ten" might help you win a gameor get your program rolling again.

Did I leave anything out? Well, another bit of wisdomgiven to me by an old coach might serve as #11. Always sit at the backof the bus when traveling. It will enable you to see and heareverything.

Printed from lambtonshoresminorhockey.ca on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:12 PM