My life has always been revolved around sports. For me it was, “if you’re not a 3 sport athlete you’re just being lazy.” In high school I had both ends of the spectrum in the coaching department. I had the super nice coach who I thought of as an older sister. I also had the coach who didn’t understand the female gender whatsoever and who was just a yelling hypocrite. I’ve also experienced coaches who were in between who flirted with the boundaries between yelling and constructive criticism. It wasn’t until my college career that I learned what a great coach should be like. My college softball coach was the best coach I’ve ever encountered. He was all about doing things the right way from the start and accountability. Those two concepts are what propelled the team to be great. All in all, I loved the idea of coaching and I knew right off the bat that I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to influence young athletes in a way that would change them for the better so that they would feel more prepared for the challenges that life had to throw them.
As a coach my motives would be focused on both successes on and off the field or court. I would not only strive for success in the games but also in the classroom and as citizens. Once you become better people then you can become better athletes. A team should be proud to wear their school name on their chest. And in order to gain that sense of pride I believe that you have to be involved in the community. Because it’s those people who come to our games and who support us throughout the season. And with all the support we get from them we should give it back. That’s why when I become a coach my teams will be involved in the community doing charity runs/walks, cleaning up after disasters, or doing volunteer work for organizations such as the local Red Cross or Salvation Army. If we show that we care about our community then they will care about us.
Another thing I would push is progress in the classroom. I would steal this quote from the movie Coach Carter because it’s completely true. “You are student-athletes, student comes first.” Something that my college coach implemented was if you miss a class, the whole team has to run a sprint. After the teachers sent in the progress reports I would tally up the amount of absences and make the team run for every single one. That way if one teammate was thinking about skipping class hopefully another teammate would stick up for everyone and persuade that person to go to class. As soon as their grades started slipping down to below average I would also make them go to tutoring to study sessions instead of practice. That way it will motivate the student to get back on track faster. It’s been my experience that your life off the field or court directly impacts your play on the field or court. So once you get that straightened out then you will begin to see improvement during gameplay.
As far as my coaching style, I would emphasize honesty. I would make sure my athletes know that when they’re doing something wrong that I’m going to tell them and then we can move on and fix it right away. And same vice versa if they’re doing something right then I’m going to tell them that tight away too. That way there’s no question. No beating around the bush. Lying and game playing like that just wastes time and creates mistrust between me the coach and the athletes because they are never sure if you’re being completely straight with them. If they are unsure in you then they will be unsure in themselves when they play. It really all boils down to that. It’s all about benefitting the team. I know a lot of coaches who let their emotions and their outside life get in the way and it doesn’t help out the team. As the coach I have to be the person that my players need at that moment. If they need someone to be a positive Polly then I will, even if my day was going really bad I would put on that face for my team. Maybe my team needs a fire lit under their hind ends to get moving and motivated, and then I would put on that face to get the reaction from the players that is necessary for improvement. One thing that I would implement also is that practices should be hard. You should push yourself in practice so that way in games it’s easy. Game days should be fun days. They should be laid back and loose. Too many times athletes make mistakes because they’re too uptight and scared to make mistakes. Once you’re scared to make a mistake, that’s when mistakes happen. Once a mistake happens in a game you just have to learn from it and move on. There’s no sense in dwelling on it and making the situation worse. There’s nothing you can do about it now but to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
The reason I want to become a coach is because the most influential people in my life were my coaches. I want to be that person for future athletes. When I die I want my athletes to remember me as someone who changed their lives for the better. I want them not to think of me as the person who made them a better hitter or better at the free throws but I want them to think of me as the person who made them more confident in themselves as good respectful citizens.