Guest Post by Cindy Bledsoe
Have you ever thought of how your players would describe you as a coach? Would they describe you as driven, mean, harsh, and focused only on winning? Or would they describe you as motivating, encouraging, challenging, yet inspiring?
As a coach you have the privilege to train players and mold them into better players, but you also have the opportunity to mold their lives to some extent. I am often amazed at how much power a coach has. They can make or break a player and have a positive or negative influence on a player’s life for years to come. I have been a coach for 16 years and I still consider it a very special privilege to coach.
I will never forget the conversation I had with a mom of one of my players after a tennis lesson. The player was a very shy girl who tried to fade into the background and was very insecure. She wasn’t a particularly good player, in fact she had some real struggles with the game. I was always mindful to encourage her and build her up in practice. One day her mom came up to me after a lesson with tears in her eyes and thanked me for the impact I had on her daughter. She could see how her daughter was thriving on the encouragement and acceptance she felt from me as her coach regardless of her skill level. You see, I did more in helping the girl grow in confidence than I helped her tennis game. And I’ll tell you something, if I have to choose between the two, I would pick the player over their skills every time! To this day, it stands out in my mind as a powerful example of the impact a coach can have on their players.
- See each player as a person of great value regardless of their playing ability.
- Players will not remember your great plays or the drills you taught as much as they will remember you for the impact you’ve had on their lives.
- In coaching you have 2 options – you either build players or break them.