Undoing Two Years of Bad Coaching


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I knew the problem was deeper than I thought as we sat and chatted over breakfast. Our son told me that his track team had no chance of winning district this year because two key people were out for the season.

I corrected him immediately.

I said, “So winning district will be more challenging this year because you have two people out?”

We’ve been battling a loser’s mentality for the past two years behind poor coaching techniques and we have a string of losses to show for it too.

I’ll never forget a statement made by one of the football players as the team was coming off the field after a horrible loss. His response was simply, “oh well.” I stood there dumbfounded. Oh well? That was his best comeback?

After another lopsided basketball loss, the coach told them they basically didn’t have a chance to win because the other team was out playing street basketball while they were out hunting.  I’m going to let that statement stand because there’s so much more in there than I want to deal with in this post. But is this what you tell your team? Is this how you encourage them?

My husband and I watched game after game—football and basketball—season after losing season and concluded all coaches are not created equal. Not every coach develops their players or knows how to motivate their teams.

Our son’s coach did a lot of yelling from the sidelines while the other team’s coaches were telling their athletes how to adjust and win. Our son tells us that the coach often reminisces on his college days and how he won championships; that does nothing for the boys on the field or on the court. We told our son that not every coach has his best interest at heart. That there were some bad coaches/teachers out there. This is kind of hard to process at any age but especially when you’re a young teen.

So here’s my takeaway on the past two years of poor and ineffective coaching. You can apply these to the coaches/leaders in your own life.

A good coach/leader does not throw up his credentials or past accomplishes as to say something is wrong with you. If this coach/leader is still relishing his/her glory days, it may be time to hire a new coach or find a new leader. These coaches typically use old coaching methods and they are ineffective in the present. This is evident by the worst two seasons I think our son’s school has seen in years.

Coaches, who are interested in developing their players and winning, will embrace new methodologies and find ways for their teams to win. If you’re only being reprimanded for what didn’t go well and getting no feedback on how to improve or get better, move on! A good coach/leader will help you adapt so you can make changes and win.

A good coach/leader encourages and inspires. They don’t tell you why you won’t win; they convince you that you can take down Goliath. And this is the work my husband and I have to undo. We’re telling our son, you can do absolutely anything you want if you work hard and put forth the effort. This coach’s methodology had many guys not even try…not until the very last game where the guys always put up a valiant effort. Watch out for coaches/leaders that see the greatness in others but not in you and are not interested or are incapable of developing you for that same greatness.

A good coach/leader has a winning philosophy and possesses the skill set to help you be your best.

Lisa aka The Marketing Stylist™ is a public speaker, author, small business owner and marketing/design consultant. She resides in Houston, TX with her husband Elgin, their son and a rambunctious black Labrador named Kobe. This post is reprint from her personal blog.