13 ways to be more coachable - Part 2!
Date Posted: 5/17/2016
Now that we’ve established why being coachable is critical to your development as an athlete, let’s go through the 13 steps:
Listen to what your coaches say, not how they say it. Easier said than done but, like any skill, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Practice “mean no offense, take no offense"
when both speaking AND listening to your teammates and coaches.
Trust me: It’s NOT about you. If your coach is having an ‘off’ day, don’t take it personally. You don’t know what happened to them that day. Did they get reprimanded by the athletic
director? Did they lose a big recruit? Did they have a fight with their spouse? Is their son failing math? Your coach’s bad day could be a result of any of the other 99% of what is happening
in their life. So, odds are, it’s not you.
Remember ‘coach’ is only one hat they wear. Many coaches have spouses, children, families, friends, and lives outside of making sure your catered dinner is ready on the road trip. While
you are important to them, remember they have lives outside of you. Respect that.
They really (REALLY) want you to be your best even if it sometimes comes out sideways. They are there to help you be successful. Trust them.
Your coaches are more stressed than you can probably imagine. Give them a break if they aren’t perfect or if their tone isn’t right in line with what you’d prefer.
Always say ‘thank you’. In fact, say it more often than you think you need to. Thank your coaches for taking you on a road trip. Thank them for making you watch film (and for editing
the film so it’s not as long as it could be!). Thank them for scouting your opponent late into the night. Thank them for totally committing themselves to your improvement. Thank them for
holding you to a high standard. And especially thank them during those moments when you don’t feel thankful… those are times when they’re helping you most.
Always look your coaches in the eye. Don’t hold your head down. Don’t look away. You want to be treated like an adult, so BE an adult; have confidence and class and look your coach in
the eye. Doing so isn’t even for them: it’s for YOU. (Yes – this time it IS about you.)
Shocker: Your coach is human, too. They aren’t perfect (and – surprise! – neither are you). Their stresses and emotions get misplaced just like yours do. They get hurt by things you do,
say, and they feel pain when you disregard them or don’t appreciate them. (See #6.)
Don’t roll your eyes. It’s immature and says more about you than the person you’re offending. (See #7.)
If you really have something to say, SAY IT. I’m big on communication. Huge on it, in fact. So, if all else fails and you just don’t get what you need from your coach, be an adult and
communicate that in a mature way. Whining about something constantly, or tuning out and not committing yourself to your team, is NOT a solution. In fact, it’s the exact opposite:
absolutely detrimental to you, your team, and your coach’s ability to effectively train you.
Directly ask for feedback. Your coaches have a whole roster of players to look after and might not always get around to you as quickly as you’d like. Every coach would love to have
one-on-one conversations or meetings every day with every player, but that’s simply not a realistic goal. Therefore, if they don’t get to you right away, go to them and ask for their thoughts
Be prepared. Take five minutes before every practice to release from your mind the rest of your day’s activities. Remember your goals and remember why you’re practicing. Remember that
your coach has put in uncountable hours to prepare drills, runs, plays, and practices for you. So, have some respect: when you’re at practice, really, truly BE at practice.
Set up a weekly check-in with your coach in a place where both of you can chat informally about your strengths and skills that need working on. This doesn’t have to take long. Just a few
minutes after practice can be a huge help in keeping you on track to your goals.
So, this is my list. I hope you find my advice helpful. We review this information along with many valuable tips from outstanding college coaches at our College ID camp. Good luck!