October 19, 2007, Newsletter Issue #317: Examine Your Coaching Philosophy

Tip of the Week

Your style is often an extension of your personality. Coach within that personality. Whether you are soft-spoken or hotheaded off the court, most likely, you will assume a similar persona when coaching. This is not always, true, of course, but the exercise will get you thinking about the manner in which you coach.

Assess your players in the same manner. As you become more familiar with your team, youíll be able to gauge its personality as a whole, as well as the personalities of the individuals it comprises. In honing your coaching style, try to pinpoint an approach that will work effectively and cohesively with your players, individually and as a group. Once youíve assessed these qualities, make an effort to nurture your strongest characteristics and incorporate them into your style. Be aware of your weakest traits so you can detect and eliminate them when they begin to surface on the court.

A coach wears a number of hats -- teacher, administrator, surrogate parent, friend and counselor. However, regardless of the role that you find yourself in, the most important thing that you can do is be yourself. You can learn from coaches that you admire and even borrow ideas from them. Yet, if your true personality doesnít come into play, your players will see right through you and have a difficult time relating to you.

One of the most important pieces of advice that can be offered to a new coach is to coach within your personality. Donít try to coach like someone else or emulate someone elseís style. Be yourself. Players can sense right away when you are insincere or not being yourself. You will go further if you coach in a manner that you are comfortable with.

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