It is important to have vision and an idea of where you are going (direction) as a coach. You are the leader of the team. If you are unsure of which way to go, the team surely cannot follow.
Ken Blanchard (2007) illustrates this point when he writes about having what he calls a Leadership Point of View (LPOV). LPOV is similar to a coaching philosophy. It is basically why you coach, your purpose in coaching and how you demonstrate that purpose when you are interacting with others.
Think about why you became a coach in the first place. What do you want to accomplish as a coach? Do you want to educate your players? Motivate them?
What do you expect of your players? If you expect commitment, discipline, enthusiasm and hard work, do you also hold these values for yourself? Do you exemplify what you want to see in your athletes? Think about the values you possess and what is important to you. Do you value success? Competition? Fairness?
Just as you have expectations of your athletes, so too do your athletes have expectations of you. What will you provide for them? Will you demonstrate support, dedication to improving their skills and championing their efforts? Can they count on you to be prepared for practices and to be disciplined and on time yourself? A team is only as strong as its weakest link. That link cannot be the coach!
A great way to consider where you are now as a coach and what you think is important is to think about people in your life who have influenced you with their leadership skills, positive or negative. What was it about these people that motivated (or discouraged) you? What lessons did you learn that you can apply to your own coaching behavior?
What are your beliefs about coaching? What do you consider the best ways to motivate or lead athletes to success? What do you consider "success" to mean?
Serious consideration of these questions, even writing down your responses and reflecting on them at length, will help your vision to become clearer. The direction in which you will ultimately lead your team will be apparent. And you will gain more confidence knowing that you are not just coaching, but coaching and leading purposefully. This can only benefit you and the athletes who look up to you and depend on you.
Blanchard, K. (2007). Leading at a higher level. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Publishing.
Articles for Coaches
Information to use with your athletes to improve their individual performance, and your team's success.