No coach wants to do it, but every coach has the potential to ruin the kids he coaches. How does it happen? Here’s part 1:

View their performance as a reflection on you.

This is perhaps the greatest trap for any coach. The kids are on the field. You’ve taught them everything you know. The game starts. And they fail. Repeatedly. How do you handle that?

If your focus is on results instead of the process of getting better (games are included in that process), you will boil and eventually explode.

If you believe the kids’ performance (especially your own) is a reflection of how good of a coach you are, you will live and die with everything they do. Let’s face it, sometimes kids play well in spite of us and sometimes they play poorly in spite of all we’ve taught them.

If their performance is a reflection on you, you’ll start to believe you are incredible or awful (it will change from play to play). You’ll be driven by what others think of you. You’ll drive yourself crazy.

Worst of all, when the chips are down, the person who suffers most because of this mindset isn’t the coach. It’s his players. Because he views their performance as a reflection on him, he sacrifices their emotions, he devalues them, he berates them, he over-analyzes everything they do. He looks for someone to blame (the players or parents), because their poor performance surely is not his fault.

This is a daily battle and you must keep fighting against it. Their performance does not define you. Work the process instead of focusing solely on game results. Empty yourself of anything you’re trying to prove as a coach, namely that you’re good at what you do and that you know what you’re talking about. Then, you’ll avoid ruining the kids you coach.

For audio commentary on this subject, follow the link below: