Updated: Oct 8, 2019
A Coaching Philosophy can be defined as an attitude or a set of attitudes held by a coach that acts as the guiding principle for the training and development of a team.
In previous articles, we´ve discussed the importance and the benefits of having a strong coaching philosophy. Now, in this article, we are going to dissect some concepts (according to the existing guidelines) that will help in the process of creating a solid coaching philosophy:
1.- Your Motivation Must Be the Engine:
As a team leader, you must be the master motivator. When performance levels drop and players simply don´t show up, your drive, motivation and energy can be the turning point.
Motivation is a powerful tool, and as any powerful tool, we need to use it wisely. In the process of motivating our players, we should always be honest about the information we transmit them. We shouldn´t lie our makeup unrealistic goals/expectations for our players. If we do, we are one step closer of losing their trust and set them up for failure.
Furthermore, in motivating players, we need to bear in mind that the aim of the motivation can´t always be winning. A lot of the times the purpose of motivating should be the growth of the player and the consolidation of his skills. If we only focus on winning, we can create an over-bearing pressure for some players, which will contradict the purpose of motivating them. A motivated player may not always win his games but will for sure show up every day to practice and give his best during each session
2.- Dedication, Hard Work:
Elite players aren´t made overnight. Elite players are made from thousands of hours practicing (on and off the court).
Success comes from hard work, not the other way around.
As coaches, we need to be the first ones to work hard and to be resilient. We need to invest in ourselves (continuing learning) and invest in our players (be there for them, listening to them and be a creating a healthy team environment). Otherwise, how will teach this to them?
3.- The Power of Resilience and a Positive Frame of Mind:
Resilience can be defined as the ability to overcome adversity. Without it, those in a position of power (within any job role), will fall short of their goals, because they won´t have the capability of overcoming negative occurrences.
In life, we are going to have positive and negative moments, and there is nothing we can do about it. Therefore, it´s safe to say that good results cannot be achieved without setbacks. However, if we are mentally strong and have a positive frame of mind, we will be a step closer of reaching our goals. There is nothing to gain from harshly blaming individuals when things go wrong. Instead, we must learn with the mistakes made and concentrate on improving for the next practice session/game.
4.- Your Athletes Must Believe in You:
Every relationship that we establish in our lives can´t live long without trust. In a sporting context, it´s the same. If we don´t base the relationships we create with our players on trust, they won´t last very long. You have to trust your players, and they have to trust you.
In addition, you must know the players you coach. The more you understand your group of work, the more you can lead them and mould them. Instead of creating a mindset of “He´s my leader, I have to respect them”, you should aim for a mindset of “I respect him and he´s my leader”.
As strong team leaders, we must also be sincere and critical about our players´ performance, on and off the court. If them perform well we need to be the first ones to congratulate them, but if they don´t perform we have to also be the firsts to tell them that. If we aren´t honest with our players, our management standards cannot be met.