Mistakes coaches make (thinking they're doing the right thing)

written by Erica Quam

Some of the greatest lessons we learn are from past experiences. As we go through life, we learn, grow and evolve. We make mistakes. Our experiences add up over time - so much so, we actually change as people. 



1 – Not scheduling time to dream

You may believe the only to get things done is to be doing something. That's not always the case.

If you don’t take time away from your team for visioning and thinking, it’s easy to react to everything. 

Teams are dynamic and ever-changing (Just like you!) Take time to think about who you want to be, where you want to go, and what you want to do.

2 – Overthinking

Looking at details ahead of time and making the right call is important. However, when you spend too much time planning and analyzing - you can get stuck.

I call it analysis paralysis. There may even be a little fear of failure hiding out there: of doing the wrong thing or making the wrong decision. At some point, you've got to take action. Reframe failures as good learning!

3 – Becoming part of the drama

It's important for coaches to know the pulse of the group - or they can be left in the dark.

All too often, coaches can get hooked by drama...on their teams, with parents, with recruits, or even within the athletic department. This can be paralyzing! Drama steals our time and emotions. Instead of getting sucked in, search for the real issue and then work towards a solution.

4 - Saying yes

As a young coach, there's lots to learn and opportunities to take on to broaden and expand your perspective. There's a fine line though. Taking on too much can lead to cynicism, resentment and burnout.

Learn what standards you need to make and what boundaries you need to set for yourself. You can't take it on all at once. Learn the importance of saying no.

5 – Not being yourself

Many coaches utilize their own experiences as an athlete. It's understandable to emulate a former coach. But don't fall into the trap of holding on to those experiences too tightly. You have to be in the moment and coach the athletes who are there with you! 

It's important to find your own voice and be yourself. If you aren't, your athletes will pick up on that. There's disharmony when you don't have congruence between what you say and who you are...a real chaotic vibration.

Be yourself. Show them the good, the bad, and your totally quirky self. They will trust and respect you much more if you do.

6 - Not investing in yourself

Successful coaches invest time and money in herself and her career: attending conferences, going to continuing education, reading books, and hiring a coach. 

Too many coaches go it alone. It leads to limited thinking, isolation, and burn out.

When an opportunity arrives, don’t ask: “How much does it cost to do this?” Ask instead: “How much will it cost me NOT to do this?” This simple question will change your life!

Do you identify with any of these? Share what number resonates the most in the comments below!