Coaching Wisdom to Ponder

These thoughts were collected from various sources.  Whether you agree or disagree with these statements, I hope you can take a few ideas that fit your needs, put some sustained thought and writing to them and turn them into something that helps you program.

  1. A coach must possess mental toughness. A coach must be ready to practice every day.  The athletes realize when a coach is not prepared. The top coaches at every level are the ones that are mentally prepared every day.
  2. Building character is the real commitment to winning. A coach who doesn’t stand by his or her convictions is doomed to be a big loser, regardless of the win-loss record.
  3. Ability is what you are capable of doing, motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. – Lou Holtz
  4. It is the loose ends with which men and women hang themselves.
  5. The major part of my job isn’t to tell the players what to do. The most important thing I do is to create a setting for them to work in. I think that is the key to any coaches job—creating an environment that’s organized, free of distractions, ready.

  7. A team has to be a melting pot. It’s going to face a lot of different challenges and it has to have a lot of potential responses.
  8. Hustle isn’t a god given talent. It’s something that a person develops through sheer will. It’s a state of mind.
  9. Any team can be a miracle team. The catch is that you have to go out and work for your miracles.
  10. Keep the faith in times of difficulty. Every team goes through a period of unusual
    difficulty. If you’re confident that what you’re doing is right, then just work at it harder.
  11. It’s getting so everyone wants to harvest, but nobody wants to plow.

  13. To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun
  14. A great team isn’t built by just having top talent. It matters how these top talents combine with each other. Attitude and chemistry are the factors that kick people up to higher levels of winning, no matter what talent they have. A great collection of talent with unbalanced chemistry and poor attitude can get beaten by teams of lesser talent.
  15. Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself.
  16. To have a great season requires not only a big commitment but a long and lasting commitment.
  17. Nothing is carved in stone, you can change anything in your life is you want it bad enough.

  19. Face it, nobody owes you a living; what you achieve or fail to achieve in your lifetime is directly related to what you do or fail to do.
  20. All coaches have a powerful ally, but most are afraid to use it—the bench.  You can modify behavior. You cannot rehabilitate character.
  21. Anybody who gets away with something will come back to get away with a little bit more.

  23. The 8 Rituals of Visionary Leaders
    1. Link Paycheck to Purpose (The Ritual of A Compelling Future Focus)
    2. Manage by Mind, Lead by Heart (The Ritual of Human Relations)
    3. Reward Routinely, Recognize Relentlessly (The Ritual of Team Unity)
    4. Surrender To Change (The Ritual of Adaptability and Change Management)
    5. Focus On The Worthy (The Ritual of Personal Effectiveness)
    6. Leader Lead Thyself (The Ritual of Self-Leadership)
    7. See What All See, Think What None Think (The Ritual of Creativity and
    8. Link Leadership to Legacy (The Ritual of Contribution and Significance)
    – from the book “Leadership Lessons from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin Sharma

    20. Qualities of A Great Teacher
    1. Model/mentor; teach kids individual responsibility; give players what they need,
    not what they want.
    2. Caring/loving
    3. Wise use of time
    4. Sense of humor
    5. Have a mission (overriding purpose)
    – Coach Don Meyer


    21. 11 Hard Facts In Coaching High School Athletes
    Coaching is a learning experience, in the same way that being a student or an athlete is a learning experience. Season after season, coaches have to learn more about game strategy, practice organization, community, and school relations, and philosophy.  Probably the best learning tools are sharing ideas with fellow coaches and dealing with young people. The coach who becomes more perceptive about how athletes think and feel is going to establish a better relationship with them and get more out of them. What exactly should every coach know about his or her players?

    1. All players dream about being starters, but very few are willing to pay the price
    for total commitment.
    2. If the coach does not make them do it, it will never get done.
    3. Players are looking for direction, though they may not realize it.
    4. What motivates one player may not motivate another. The coach must discover
    the trigger for each individual.
    5. Unsupervised play creates more bad habits than good habits.
    6. If just one player does not commit themselves 100% all the time, their teammates
    will sense it and let down the same way.
    7. Every player consciously or otherwise chooses a role model. Some choose good
    models, others choose bad ones. The player will make their choice by
    themselves. The coach can only influence and hope.
    8. Regardless of how much time or effort a player puts in, nobody wants to win as
    badly as the coach.
    9. The player who lives for “next year” rather than doing it “this year” will never
    realize their potential.
    10. The one common denominator of successful high school athletes is confidence.
    The coach can build it up or tear it down.
    11. Remember, every player is an individual.


    22. Coaches, especially young ones, must understand the enormous challenge inherent in directing and supervising young people, of dealing with their multifaceted personalities. And the first step in the training process is to get to know the players personally. Remember, a salesman cannot sell anything unless they know the product inside out- or outside in. Neither can a coach show up with just a whistle and expect to coach effectively. A coach must develop perspective, perceptiveness, sensitivity, and an understanding of athletes.  Once they do this, they will be able to create an atmosphere of mutual understanding, and
    cope fully with their players problems.  – Author Unknown

    23. Athletes may not remember what coaches tell them about the technical aspects of their sport, but they will never forget the coach.

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