It’s always great to read Dr. Alan Goldberg‘s thoughts on coaching and how they relate to mental toughness:
“Modeling is by far your most powerful and effective coaching tool. It’s how you carry yourself on the court, field or track and who you are as a person in your day-to-day interactions with your athletes that does the real teaching here. Sure your knowledge of the game is crucial, but your actions and behaviors always speak so much louder and more forcefully than your words. In the end, what you have to say is totally worthless if your attitude demeans or alienates your players while you’re saying it. What you have to say will always fall on deaf ears if your behaviors consistently contradict your words.”
There is no doubt that coaching is an all encompassing skill that requires constant attentiveness. Body language, positivity and dedication are factors that compound our coaching skills and help make them effective.
Coach John Sandal of South High and Team USA U19 Women talked about creating the right coaching culture in his article “Who is your coaching role model?” for Skyd Magazine back in May. In this post he talks about his middle school football coach:
“The spirit and the culture he created was right on the money. He kept us moving and having fun, challenging us to work hard towards a common goal. Coach Dean made sure we knew that he cared about us, and we worked to show that we cared too with our play. Do those things and remember that culture is just the behavior we tolerate. If it’s not helping the team, consider changing that behavior. Don’t forget to have a little fun!”
Notice that Coach Sandahl never once mentions Coach Dean’s knowledge of the game or his strategies in this passage. This experience illustrates what Dr. Goldberg says about attitude and modeling the behavior that you want your plays to give back to the team and the sport.
How do your coaches model positivity and excellence on the field? If you’re a coach, what is your strategy for practicing this skill? Tell us your story in the comments.