News Article
Coaching Coaches
This is currently my 27th year in education and I spent 16 of those years as a teacher and a coach at three different schools.  I had my successes and my failures along the way and learned a lot by myself during that time period.  As I am in the middle of my 8th year as an Activities Director, I can tell you that if I would ever get back into coaching, I would be a much better coach.  Spending time at practices and games has made me reflect on my time as a coach.  

Scouting reports, teaching fundamentals, situational strategies and in game adjustments are all important parts of coaching.  However, there are three tools that I believe are ESSENTIAL for any coach at any level.  If a coach can be great and consistent with these three tools, team success will happen!
  1. Treat your athletes with respect – PRAISE IN PUBLIC, CRITICIZE IN PRIVATE. Coach hard without berating and bring them back up after you have coached hard. Make it a point to talk to every player at every practice.
  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate – DON’T LEAVE ANYTHING TO CHANCE. Make sure you are talking to kids about where they stand and talking to parents about upcoming games, practices and other events.  Social Media can be a powerful tool when it comes to communicating – there are no excuses for parents and players not to know.
  3. Self-Reflect/Evaluate – TOUGHEST THING TO DO AS A COACH.  Too many coaches get stuck in their ways and don’t want to change their philosophy and they are getting the same results year after year.  Be willing to step back and take a look in the mirror, both during the season and after the season.   Never be satisfied.  
As leaders, it is our job to discuss things like these with our coaches and let them know how important these three tools are.  I think coaches often get caught up in the X’s and O’s and forget about the other parts of coaching.  As a coach, take time at the end of every day and reflect:  how did I do today?  Set weekly goals for you and your assistants.

Keep grinding everybody, this is a unique year with many challenges.  Meet the challenges head on and win each day!!  STAY MENTALLY TOUGH!!
Author: Jeremy VanAckeren – NSIAAA President