5 Reminders From My 1st Year As A Head Coach

I still remember my very first day of work at Washington State University. I was a 26 year old first-year head coach.

I showed up in my boss's office on July 1st, 2002 at 8am, sharp - my backpack on, large mug of coffee in hand, ready to hit the ground running.

I was eager, wide-eyed and terrified - all at the same time.

My boss welcomed me in and then handed off to her assistant…who gave me keys to my office and a brief checklist - to set up email, schedule an HR orientation, and other 'new person' logistics. 

I walked into my dark new office that had blank walls , an empty desk, and a big ugly orange cabinet.

I didn't even have a computer yet. So, I sat there for a few minutes and just stared forward.

"Well, now what, Quam?," I asked myself. "What have you gotten yourself into?"

Here are 5 reminders I now share with new head coaches to support them through this transition:

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9 actions to take to support women who coach

On the eve of what may be one of the largest gatherings of women ever marching in Washington DC, in more than 300 cities across the US, and over 30 countries - I find it only fitting to get really intentional on what actions can be taken after the march to help more women step up as leaders.

Sometimes it can be hard to know what you specifically can do - within your own sphere of influence - to make a difference in this crazy world of ours. I can tell you one thing for sure...if you're a coach...you can make a huge difference everyday. 

No matter what your race, religion, or politics are...women who coach are facing a paradox in the world of athletics today: The number of girls playing sports is at an all-time high. Yet the number of women who coach collegiately has declined from over 90% in 1974 down to 40% today. Here's the link to the research to prove it done by the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport in collaboration with the Alliance of Women Coaches.

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Who will you put on your board of directors

written by Erica Quam

Successful organizations - from corporations to non-profits - bring in people who play a specific role to support the overall mission and vision of the group.

Many coaches I know try to do it all themselves. And they struggle. I used to be one of those coaches.

Do you surround yourself with people who will help play different roles in your success? If not, why not?

There are so many people in this crazy world of athletics who will tear you down, drain your energy, and burn you out: from athlete and administrators to parents and other coaches. You have to be on the offensive. Be proactive - to tip the scale the other way. When 90% of the messages you hear are negative…you have to be intentional to bring in the positive.

You get to choose who “sits in your front row”: who you give your time, energy, & attention to. Make sure you surround yourself with champions!

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Go from Good to Great

I went to Minneapolis last Friday for A Women Coaches Symposium.  This was put on by the Tucker Research Center for Girls and Women in Sports, the Alliance for Women in Coaching, and Gopher Athletics. The Tucker Center is the only center of it’s kind in the world.

One of my favorite takeaways was from Celia Slater, Co-Founder of the Alliance of Women in Coaching.

She talked about the qualities of successful coaches:

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