Monday, 4 January 2021

Published Monday, January 04, 2021 with 2 comments

Welcome 2021: New Year Resolutions of a Coach

This a guest post by Sean Wagner, a football coach in a youth sports club based in Colorado. Sean has been coaching kids for 12 years. Sean’s team is a proud member of InstaTeam.


My experience as a coach and a father of a five year old who already shows keen interest in sports, I have learned, rather the hard way, that coaching a tough job. You are working with small children, responsible for shaping their malleable minds, teaching traits that will become a part of their personality. This isn’t just a professional obligation, but it is also a moral responsibility, a responsibility that demands I invest myself in my job beyond game-skills and technique.


As a coach, I have always been busy coaching my teams, too busy to give this a thought. However, during pandemic I got the time to wrap my mind around my coaching technique. I got the opportunity to evaluate my coaching technique. Here’s my resolve for 2021 and beyond.


I will focus on coaching and not winning

I have understood that winning is an outcome, one of the many outcomes of good coaching. I will focus on coaching well which includes improving game technique, building an overall athletic personality, working on soft skills like discipline, endurance, team work, attitude, aptitude and humility.


I will let players try new things

As a coach I have done this all the time – I judge their skills and allocate positions they are good for. That is their position, the  position they play from, every time. This technique is good for the game, but perhaps not so good for the player. I will let kids play from new positions, learn new techniques and get new experiences. This will enrich them, both as people and players.


I will communicate more

With players telling them my expectations, game plan and my disappointments too. I will communicate more with parents and listen to their ideas and suggestions, while all of it may not be implementable, I know some of them really worked well in the past. Lastly, I will spend time with other coaches in the club and outside of it. It would be good to share experiences, it will help me learn new things.


No quick fixes

If a child is not playing well, I will not make them sit on the bench, but try and understand if there’s something bothering them on a deeper level. If two players fight, I will not make them end it with a handshake, but will help them work through it. There are a whole lot of problems/concerns that we face on a day-to-day basis. I will look into issues beneath the surface and work towards resolving them at the base level.


I am going to keep leaning and keep evolving

I have often told my teams – you can never learn enough. This time around I will apply this to myself as well. I will be open for learning from experiences, from my players and from other coaches. I will write down new experience/thing I learn so that I don’t forget and can refer to it in need. I will consciously allocate 2-3 hours every week for learning from experts like child psychologists, sports doctors, physiotherapists, school teachers etc.




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