Posted by GAELICperformance on 17th Apr 2024

Coaching Is Not An Easy Gig

Coaching is not an easy gig. Unless you've done it, you wouldn't know.

There are many articles on coaching and its challenges. These range from academic based books, research articles, short magazine pieces to seminars, workshops and webinars. All give something and takeaways depend on the content, the need of the reader or attendee.

This piece is a combination of personal experience, things I picked up along the way and the writings of an American college coach and author, Greg Berge.

Here are the 10 Truths of Coaching:

1: Spousal Support is a must. Coaching can and usually does strain family life. A supportive spouse is critical (male or female). You are gone a lot with training, meetings, games, both physically and mentally. The most important thing needed in a successful coach is a supportive spouse. There is no other way.

2: It's a 24/7 Commitment. Coaching is more than a job; it's a way of life. The way sport has gone at all levels, has mushroomed to verging on crazy. You'll spend tons of time planning, analysing, and strategising. It will consume your mind and thinking. But the relationships, the successes, and the memories make it all worth it! Hopefully!!

3: Critics Will Come. They are waiting in the bushes, online and standing along the fence. It is unfortunate, but it is what it is. No matter how well you do, there will always be critics. Accept it; you know your team best. Reflect constantly and modify or adapt only if necessary.

4: There will be Highs and Lows. It is guaranteed. But the highs will be some of the best memories in your life. And the lows will be great learning opportunities for everyone. It prepares everyone for life.

5: Don’t do it for £$€s or personal glory. Underage Club and School Coaching doesn't pay much, but it's not about that. It's a calling, a lifestyle driven by love for the game and helping young athletes grow and develop to be their best. It is about building a TEAM, players and coaches, striving to be better together. When the £$€s come in the pressure increases, the fun drops and it becomes all about the results.

6. Success Takes Time. Building a great team requires patience. There will be ups and downs, but stick with it, and you'll see results. Building a positive team culture is the No.1 job of a coach. Do not forget this.

7: You Will be Humbled I promise. Coaching is a very humbling profession. You will have very tough losses. And you will wonder how it happened. Do not take anything for granted. Working with 12 - 18 year-old people promises many surprises.

8: You Won't Please Everyone. Tough decisions come with the job. Not everyone will agree. Remember, you're working for the team's benefit, not just one person. Make yourself happy. Don't try to please others. Be fair. A team has many working parts. Not all of them perform to specification. Replacements have to be made from time to time.

9. Players Need to Want It. You can inspire and motivate as a coach, but players must want success. Encourage hard work, commitment, and goal-setting; let them own their success.

10. It is Always Worth It. Despite the challenges, coaching is incredibly rewarding. Seeing your players become strong, confident individuals is priceless. Watching your team win when the odds are stacked against you is inspiring. Winning a Championship is incredible! Seeing them succeed when adults at whatever the level is also rewarding.