Recently, we got into a big debate on the blog
about what qualifies as ‘cheating’ when
coaching your athletes and running your
If you missed all the drama, be sure to
check this out (the drama starts with response
#7 in the ‘Leave a reply’ section):
In the end, you can put all sports coaches
into one of two camps:
1. Open minded people, like you and I, who use
critical thinking and reason to determine
whether or not our ideas, programs and
coaching philosophies are in line with
what is best for our athletes and teams.
2. Closed minded people, like Coach Vincent
(click the link above if you don’t know what
that means) love the status quo. Change is
too difficult and scary, so instead of
spending time and effort assessing their
knowledge and approach, they strike down
any opinion that goes against the same old
crap they’ve been doing for the past 5, 10,
You probably know (and do battle with) people
like Coach Vincent on a regular basis.
The only path to defeating Coaching Cancers
like the Coach Vincents of the world requires
constant assessment (of ourselves
and others) and, fundamentally, requires us
to *always* entertain the possibility that
our current way of thinking/coaching is
outdated, inefficient, or, in some instances,
flat out wrong.
No matter how smart or successful we appear
to be (or think we are).
At it’s core, we must constantly strive to
learn new information, upgrade our approach,
test and retest our coaching theories, invest
in our education, attend seminars, read
articles and, yes, even spend some money on
training products and resources.
Highly successful coaches don’t sit back and
say ‘Well this is the way we do it here at
Such and Such High School, this is the way
we’ve always done it and this is the way
we’re always going to do it. Because it’s
Tradition, for tradition’s sake, is the crutch
commonly used by the laziest and most
And one of the main reasons we are suffering an
acute sports injury epidemic in this country.
When Patrick Beith and I used to coach together,
we would regularly get into heated exchanges
about the smallest details of our programs.
Why? Because if I can’t give a satisfactory
reason for *WHY* I’m doing something in my
program, I shouldn’t do it.
And you shouldn’t either.
I dare say most coaches at the subcollegiate
level could NOT back up their training with
basic science. One could also argue those
coaches should not be allowed to work with
*any* athletes until they can.
Good coaches seek out such constructive feedback.
Those other coaches don’t.
Good coaches explain what they’re doing and
why before every practice. They encourage
questions from athletes. And they answer those
questions in language kids can understand.
(You’d be amazed at how quickly kids buy into
your training when it actually makes sense to
Those other coaches don’t.
This past season I had my most successful
year of coaching of all time.
Since the spring season ended I’ve accumulated
more information than I can possibly read or
watch, purchased several coaching
resources and picked the brains of multiple
coaches who are far more intelligent than I am.
In some instances, I realized (despite my
success on paper) that there were far better,
cleaner and more efficient ways to get results
than the way I was doing it.
Instead of getting defensive and pointing
at all the state titles, records and scholarships
my athletes have earned, I ate my humble pie
and went back to the drawing board.
Because that’s what good coaches do.
And that’s why my athletes will continue to
rewrite the record books again this season.
The best way to become successful is to copy
what highly successful people in your field
And if they’re constantly seeking out new
information and resources to keep their ideas,
training and programs from getting stale,
shouldn’t you and I do the same no matter how
good our programs and athletes appear to be?
After all, you don’t want people calling you
a ‘Coach Vincent’, do you?
Not exactly sure where to begin or what
to do next? Here are the 3 resources I
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best seller and should be the ‘Go To’ program
for every coach, regardless of age, sport