written by Erica Quam
Successful leaders know they need to line up support, have accountability in place, and take time away - regularly - to gain perspective. These three steps help ensure that they are making the best decisions for their organization. Some decisions can be really hard to make - because they impact the lives and families of the people within their organization.
The same is true for coaches. It's important for coaches to have the right support, regular accountability, and a community they can connect with often - to share the ups and downs from the season.
Here are three actions coaches can take to be more successful:
1. SEEK OUT SUPPORT
As a coach, its valuable to talk to someone else about difficult decisions you have to make. It can be tempting to a) try and figure it out on your own or b) share everything with your partner at home and expect them have all the answers.
Whether they agree or disagree with you - ask yourself...are they really the best one's to give me this advice? Sure. There are things you can and should share with them. But not everything!
The same is true for colleagues. Whether you are the head or assistant coach...it's valuable to get a perspective outside your staff to give you the clarity you need to make decisions, address concerns, and function in alignment with your overall vision.
You can't align yourself with someone who is struggling as much as you. You'll just pull each other down.
Action: Form a supportive relationship with a colleague or a mentor - who is moving in the same direction or has been on a similar path as you.
2. LINE UP ACCOUNTABILITY
Lots of coaches participate in professional development opportunities to get new ideas on the x's and o's. Very few coaches look specifically at how they can improve their relationships. And coaching is all about relationships!
When you have the accountability you need, you can begin to look at challenging relationships as opportunities for growth. If the same challenges keep coming up or if those difficult athletes keep finding their way into your program...it's time to figure out what you need to change to deal with them more effectively.
Action: Make personal development a priority. Hire a coach, work with a therapist, and start a journal to begin to pick out trends in the challenges you're dealing with.
3. CONNECT WITH A COMMUNITY
There's value in having a place - and a space - where you can get out of your routine to get a different perspective. Part one is regularly committing to take time away. Part two is finding people you can trust to be real and authentic around. I just finished my first coaching summit of the season. These coaches have an amazing community to connect with.
Action: Reach out to coaches in your area who are willing to take the time and want to hold a similar intention - of sharing experiences to gain perspective.
I believe when coaches have the right support, consistent accountability, and a community to connect with they will be less overwhelmed and much more fulfilled...and make a greater impact on the athletes they coach.
What has been the most helpful thing for you to stretch, grow, and get support as a coach? Share one thing in the comments below.