I’m always amazed at people who build things. Their knowledge and skill affords them the freedom to create incredible structures, automobiles, organizations, and so on. Equally important to the knowledge and skill is the possession of the tools for the job. Without the tools, the project grinds to a halt. Tools are the key.

Coaching is no different. You and I are using tools each time we address our players, each time we design practice, each time we game-plan. If we deem our coaching to be ineffective, perhaps it’s time to evaluate the tools.

Coaching on Purpose involves answering the following question: Which tools am I relying on to accomplish my coaching goals?

In his seminal book, InsideOut Coaching, Joe Ehrmann gives a nod to the tools used by both “transactional” and “transformational” coaches. I hope you’ll give some time today to honest introspection regarding the ones you’re currently using.

Tools of a coach with a selfish purpose:

Manipulation, threats, yelling, negativity, humiliation, mind games, cursing, secrecy, intimidation, silent treatment, punishment.

Tools of a coach with a selfless purpose:

Encouragement, smiling, openness, clear communication, individual player focus, flexibility, interested questions, eye contact, respect.

I’m sure you could add to each list, and I invite you to do so. Make your own. Send it to me…I would love to learn from it.

Your tools make the difference. Your product (the young people you coach) are the direct result of the tools you’re using. Maybe it’s time for a change.