“Where there is no vision the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
In my experience, the best players and coaches see through their leader’s eyes. There is great frustration for the head coach or leader when they feel like few see the details and understand the standards. When they are constantly having to reinforce issues because nobody else notices the problem. When the coach is trying over and over again to help, motivate, or develop a player… But the player cannot see what the coach sees in them and for them. They know that potential takes off when the right action aligns with the right vision.
As a player…. Understand that your coach is more concerned with how you do things than what happens…. They are looking for the qualities that make a great player and person. The requirements that great teams meet everyday. A coach is more concerned with your mindset, consistency, effort, discipline, and teachable spirit. A player is typically more concerned with success, what they feel, social acceptance, playing time, or doing it right… When the player focus starts to see through the lens of the coach… then all the things they want start to fall in place. I told my son recently, “Do not compete for playing time…. compete to be known as the hardest worker, and best teammate on the team. Everything else will take care of itself.”
We tell our players to focus on three things each day at practice. 1) Give us all you have 2) Do not be afraid to fail 3) If you do fail, have a teachable spirit to improve. The fastest way for any player to maximize their potential, is to be a coachable player. My job is to tell you what I see, not what you hope to hear. Great players understand that everything matters; your locker, your dress, your communication, each rep, pride in performance, toughness, response to failure, weeding out the negative…. Immature players tend to have a misconception… They feel like they are valued by their success or status on the team. However, we have the most admiration and respect for the guys that simply strive for excellence. Your place on the depth chart may get you more attention, but it does not mean you are more respected. Talent may give you a chance, but character is the only thing that allows you to keep that chance. I love the verse in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all people, revealing yourselves... Your behavior is a reflection of what you really grasp and apply from what our program teaches.
As a coach…. Understand that you bring the most value to your head coach or leader when you see through their eyes. So what do their eyes see and seek? They are constantly scanning for anything that meets or does not meet the standards of the program. Things out of place…. is their trash on the ground… organization…. body language… dress code…. are we on time… who is on task…. who finishes…..is time being wasted… who is paying attention…. are our toes on the line… are there eyes on coach when he is taking, how are they responding…..etc… etc… I am more concerned with the process than the performance…. A programs culture takes off when there is an alignment of mindset amongst the staff. See the snapshot from our staff guidelines:
There is no greater frustration to the head coach than when few notice things out of place…. Great assistant coaches free up the head coach to be a better teacher by noticing problems, addressing issues, and taking a role of ownership. They do not run to the leader to point things out, they decide to take care of business. This is typically why my best coaches have been former head coaches or people striving to be a head coach. This is another reason why I encourage coaches to apply and interview for head coaching jobs… Having to present yourself as the leader, will force you to see through a different lens. I learned a long time ago that if you want to bring the most value to the organization. You need to start viewing your role through the correct lens and be an extension of the head coach. If you want to bring the most value, then be a problem solver….. And be able to do this with their guidance, but not their direction.
As a person… Regardless of success or failure…. The closer I am to God, the more I see myself the way he sees me. When my heart is right… I experience more peace and confidence in the truth of my identity. The further I am away from God, the more I get lost in how the world views me. The more I can find my value in success or failure. The worlds viewpoint can be very conditional…. Gods concern is the condition of our heart. I love the verse from Samuel 16:7, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I am at my best when I see myself through his lens. I recently had a conversation with a very successful college head coach that had taken over a new program. I commented to him that, “The hardest thing about leaving a place, is finding out how irrelevant you are to some… when you lose your title. That a lot in our business, only value us when we are relevant to their needs.” When I stay close to God, I stay close to my purpose and am driven to make a difference for him. When I am far from God, I tend to connect my purpose with being accepted by the world. I have experienced the greatest joy, passion, peace, and purpose when I see my worth through his eyes. When I see my worth through the world…. it is always conditional… circumstantial… and controversial. I am at my best when I see through my real coach’s eyes….
Great players see the big picture, Great programs have an aligned vision, and a Great life sees with the heart…
2 thoughts on “See Through Your Coach’s Eyes”
Best article yet!! I love this.
Praise God for such insight about being a leader or a leader supporter , with an excellent heart, attitude and with passion. Being one’s best in every effort of life, is our biggest challenge. However, when understood and applied, the rewards are abundant!
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