Monday, November 5, 2007

Good coaches don't go blind

Good Coaches Don’t Go Blind

A classmate of mine made a statement during a recent assignment that “good leaders don’t go blind”. I thought it was very intriguing and wondered how it related to coaching.
I think coaches can allow themselves to “go blind” in a number of ways.

One way that a coach can “go blind” is by not seeking a fresh perspective or a fresh set of eyes. While diversity may seem to refer to race, gender or culture it can also refer to the thoughts that are present around you. Being open to the ideas of the people around you can help you stay fresh and energized. Totally ignoring those around you because you have always done something a certain way may allow you to meet the same level of success but it will keep you in the same rut. Stepping back and opening your eyes will also help you evaluate what you need to improve or change.

Many coaches run the same system and the same drills year after year. They never try to do anything differently or add to the system because they are in their personal comfort zone. They have their eyes firmly shut. They are “blind”.
Listening to others around you can provide you with a fresh new perspective and those eyes may pick up on the tiny things that help a team grow up or blow up.

Too often we blind ourselves when we put our head down and battle through the mundanity of day to day issues. As coaches we often concern ourselves with what is happening inside our own “castle walls”. We don’t step back often enough and see what is going on around us. We don’t learn to appreciate “the now” and we never see the many good things that are happening every day. We coach great kids every day yet the only time we notice is when we are talking about what type of person they were. The past tense is the wrong tense. We need to open our eyes and appreciate the players we are coaching now. Telling them that they are good people and that we enjoy working with them would only help them feel better being a part of your team.

Blindness causes us to ignore the small leaks in the dam that ultimately lead to big trouble.

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