About a week ago I asked coaches to answer what I feel is the million-dollar question. Can you define the word coach? The response was overwhelming. My inbox was full with amazing responses. It is obvious how passionate you are about your profession.
It is so important to know what you do and to define what you think your work is. Without a clear picture of the type of coach you want to be how will you ever be considered a great coach? This activity was as much for me as it was for you. Every season I believe you should define what “coach” means to you. Likewise, a great yearly activity for your players would be to define “player” and what it means to them to be a __________________ baseball/softball player.
I have copied some of my favorite responses below that were emailed to me so you can read what others wrote that might help you tweak and modify your own definition of coach (Also, if you would like to read more go to last weeks blog here to read other responses that were posted to the thread):
Coach– making a person ‘be’ better
Coaching is, in my opinion, the greatest profession on earth – because it provides us with an opportunity each and every day to change lives and create a legacy. It affords us a chance to have our character, our values, our ethics and our beliefs relived – in the lives of others. What a tremendous opportunity and an even greater responsibility we coaches have been given.
I have tried to never lose sight of the fact that every day – with every word and every action – that we are building a legacy – because as a coach …
We have the opportunity to be someone who teaches that if we win by compromising our integrity or character – we haven’t won at all
We have a chance to teach our players to deny their own selfish ambitions for the benefit of their teammates. To be someone to whom your players could always go – to seek counsel and advice – no matter the circumstances
We get the chance to help our young athletes celebrate effort, let go of mistakes, emphasize process over outcome, and focus on those things that we can control. To be someone who believed in his players – someone who had confidence not only in their talents and abilities but also in their character and significance
And – we can be – for some kids – possibly the only person in their life – who can inspire them to expect more from themselves than they ever dreamed was possible.
COACH- someone who is completely dedicated to their sport and the development of each player in that sport. This person is dedicated not only development on the field but, also to teaching his/her players life lessons through sport. Most importantly, this person is a positive role model, teacher and continuous learner about how to make each player stronger and more knowledgeable mentally, physically and emotionally.
Coach is someone who instructs, teaches, guides, corrects, cares, listens and motivates his athletes and other coaches…
Coach- A person that pushes others to be their very best with a perfect mix of motivation, tough love, positive praise, and passion. A coach must have goals, a vision, a plan, the heart and guts to execute the plan, and the awareness to remember to celebrate successes- especially the small ones that lead to the big ones.
Coach: a dedicated person who is a role-model, cheerleader, disciplinarian, and motivator for a person or group of people with a common goal or vision.
Thanks to all who submitted responses. May others were very similar to these above.
My take on COACH:
I think that coaches now days take on many responsibilities that go above and beyond the duty of what a coach used to be. We aren’t asked to but many times coaches become father or mother figures for athletes, mentors, and role-models. All of which are very noble and can have a huge impact on the lives of young people you come in contact with. I want to stick to just the word coach.
The origins of the word coach come from the Hungarian word ‘kosci’, after Kocs, a town in Hungary where fine carriages were built. Coaches these days are no different. Coaches do one thing: take athletes from where they are currently to where they want to go in the future. That takes many forms but in the end it is about being the vehicle for transporting players on your team to a new destination.
With that said these quotes makes so much sense:
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Coaching is a journey, not a destination. Have a goal to work towards but the only way to get your players to where they want to go is on the path of hard work and dedication.
I am hoping that hearing from others may define what you do in a different or updated way. No matter your definition be the vehicle for change within your players this coming season. Get them in the driver’s seat and see where they can go! As always 1 turn, 1 street, 1 player, 1-Pitch at a Time!