Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hey Coach, if you've never made a mistake, YOU'RE LYING!

You're born, you die, and in between you make a lot of mistakes.

I'm confident or arrogant enough to say that I think I'm a pretty good coach.  I can also start another journal with more content if I reflected on all the mistakes I've made.  Those mistakes have shaped me more than any successes. 

(I made a conscious decision to spare you of all the clich├ęs that pertain to making mistakes.  You're welcome.)

The more you plan, the more you coach and the more "what-ifs" you rehearse in advance, your chance of erring decreases. But it still happens.


As a coach, there is a moment of growth when you screw up, admit it, say "I'm sorry" and make an adjustment. 

I am not talking about tactical mistakes, but people mistakes.  Tactical errors are corrected during film sessions,  people mistakes ruin relationships. 

Sometimes you say the wrong thing.

Sometimes you make a mistake during player selections.

Sometimes you intentionally or unintentionally hurt a player's feelings.

Sometimes a conversation with a parent takes a bad turn.

Sometimes you are too stubborn to admit you need help.

Sometimes you make an administrative error that costs your team.

Sometimes you say or do something that embarrasses your players or team.

Sometimes your pride speaks before your mind or heart has a chance to think.

Sometimes, at the wrong time, you put the result ahead of the players' development.

You know what I mean.  You know EXACTLY what I mean.

Just make sure you admit your mistake , learn from it and do your best to not repeat it.

Sadly, I've seen a coach's season, and sometimes career, implode because they stood their ground after a mistake.  


"There is a lot of pressure on 

coaches to be perfect..."

Think about the lesson you teach your players if you admit to a mistake and explain to them how you can and/or will fix it.  I've apologized to teams and players and it was a much better option than being a "tough guy".

Don't bother apologizing if you don't sincerely make an effort to not repeat the mistake.  You now the person that I'm talking about.

How will you know you made a mistake?  Well, these days, with email, texting and social media, you will know about your mistake very very soon after it was committed :) But your heart will tell you first.

If you're up front, honest and adjust accordingly, your mistakes are quickly put behind you and forward you go.  If you try to cover up, life will become difficult very quickly.  

"I'm sorry" doesn't always fix everything and, unlike Hollywood, it's not a free pass to shoot from the hip and say or do whatever you want.  There is a lot of pressure on coaches to be perfect when it comes to dealing with kids.  Since nobody is perfect the job becomes more difficult.  

As a coach, be smart, be prepared, be humble and be honest.  Your coaching experience will be more positive in the long run.