Importance of Being Coachable

I read the following quote shared by Hines Ward on Facebook: “Uncoachable kids become unemployed adults. Let your kids get used to someone being hard on them. It’s part of life, get over it.”


High performing people and athletes enjoy being coached and the finer the detail the better. Why, because these people understand as an athlete, student, employee, parent, spouse, individual we have a responsibility to get better every day. These people also understand when we reach a plateau or aren’t getting better we are headed in the wrong direction. The journey of life is about becoming the best we can be in the roles we are required to fulfill.

As parents we must Coach our kids to challenge themselves every day and that constant and never ending learning is a good thing, it’s in our best interests.

Not every kid wants to be coached and you can’t coach someone who doesn’t want to be coached. One of the keys to helping kids want to be coached is first focusing on your relationship with that individual. Kids must be able to trust you as their coach or mentor and not fear you. I encourage coaches to set regular times to meet with the athlete to listen and learn about the issues in their life that may be influencing them as a person. As a coach you have the responsibility to ensure your athletes are being supported in life and you may be able to help with school issues and other issues that may be at play in that athlete’s life. Once trust is established and the person wants to be coached and knows you are in their corner they will be much more receptive to constructive criticism.

Focus on the execution of the athlete not the person when you coach. Avoid using the word “why” when coaching and trying to understand the athlete. When you use the word why, why did you do that, why were you out of position or why did you do this – you are putting the athlete on the defensive. Remember that athlete/coach relationship is everything. Try asking the player what they saw or how that play could have been defended differently. Get the athlete’s perspective and be a good listener. Emotional Intelligence is as important for coaches to master as it is for players. Players will run through walls for coaches when the relationship piece is strong and the player knows the coach only wants them to succeed.

As a coach we have a responsibility to set expectations with players and teach them to take ownership for their performance. Help your athletes to understand the importance of goal setting, have a plan to get better and that quitting is never an option. If you are coaching well you should have NO players not buying in and wanting to have their butt coached off. If you have players who don’t want to be coached, it might not be the athlete it may be your coaching methods. Examine your coaching tactics and methods.



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