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Recharging for success: recommendations that can turn negatives into positives.

Have you lost the enthusiasm you once had? Does your coaching lack meaning? Do your staff members and players get on your nerves? Are you no longer focusing on the rewards of coaching? Are you failing to meet the expectations of the school and community?

If you answer "yes" to most of these questions, you may be suffering from self-doubt.

Self-doubt can appear on three levels: individual, interpersonal, or institutional. On the individual level, it can be attributed to job load, job stress, and lack of anticipated success.

On the interpersonal level, it can be caused by poor player relations, lack of staff competence, or public criticism.

On the institutional level, it may stem from your failure to abide by organizational policies, inability to meet administrative expectations, or a lack of administrative support.

It is critical for coaches (and administrators) to ask themselves the following questions:

1. What were my objectives five, 10, or more years ago? Did I achieve them? Were they realistic?

2. Do I need another type of challenge or professional environment?

3. Do I still enjoy my basic responsibilities: recruiting players? developing game strategies? scouting opponents? implementing game strategies? coaching in critical situations? interacting with the public? promotional activities?

4. Do I blame others for my lack of success?

5. Do I follow through with valid recommendations and plans suggested by others?

If you answered "yes" to many of the these questions, the following recommendations may help you turn many of the negatives into positives.


1. Check out the accepted literature on coaching, education, management, and psychology.

2. Attend coaching clinics and leadership conferences, and compare your objectives and programs to that of successful coaches.

3. Solicit post-season reactions from a variety of sources.

4. Develop realistic goals before beginning a new season.

5. Realize that pressures and tribulations are part of your job.

6. Maximize your participation In developmental programs during the season and out of season.

7. Realize that you can be successful In most cases, but not necessarily all the time.

8. You cannot satisfy everyone all the time.

9. Be positive at all times. Approach the new season with the expectations that It will be rewarding and successful.

10. Try to be innovative. Though you will have to follow institutional policies and league rules, you can always find creative ways to make program changes within your parameters. But remember In order make necessary changes you will have to be willing to change your approach.

11. Keep a good self-image. Be strong In mind and spirit. Believe that you did your utmost. Personify an Image of accomplishment.

12. Let everyone know that self-esteem Is not your only objective, but success of the players and school come first.

All of us in Coaching and Administration must understand that we are in a profession that Is dedicated to contributing to our schools and communities and that we have to continually evaluate ourselves to make certain we are contributing up to our maximum capacity.

Self-doubt is one of the major enemies we have to identify and overcome.
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Author:Tener, Morton
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Date:Feb 1, 1998
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