Big Picture: Why do you coach?

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be on vacation with my family.  We were visiting a place we typically visit 3-4 times a year.  However, this time was different.  My wife and I agreed we would not be on schedule and would “enjoy the journey”.  Keep in mind, we also have a 4 year-old daughter and a 4 month-old daughter.

As we were driving up to our hotel, I noticed a difference in my driving and my state.  Since we weren’t rushed, I was in the right hand lane doing the speed limit as opposed to being in the left lane, plotting my next route to pass cars.  In my opinion being in the right lane and “going slower” was much more enjoyable.  For the first I can remember, I took in the beautiful scenery and felt calm.  As I was driving, I figured this trip applies to my coaching.

Initially, when I started coaching I was all about winning and doing whatever it took.  Now, I am still extremely competitive and want our team to be successful, I focus on forming transformational relationships with players and equipping them for life after basketball.  A couple of years ago I read a great book on coaching: Inside Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann.  Two questions in that book that helped move from a transactionial coach to a transformational coach: 1) Why do you coach?  2) What does it feel like to be coached by you?

Answering those two questions has helped me “enjoy the journey” as a coach.  In fact, it has made the journey more enjoyable.  Our team is more unified and players have better effort because they see that we care for them as people.  There are times I still get caught up in the winning, however, not as much as in the past.  One thing I do to keep centered is to read my answers to the questions before every game and training.

By Brian Hutchins
Campo Verde High School Girls Varsity Coach

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