For some, being a coach is part of our daily jobs – whether it’s being a teacher, coaching clients, employees, kids, or team members. As a kid, we’ve all been coached through all the things that we probably weren’t great at, and let’s face it – we probably were never the most coachable kids.
As we become adults and learn from the very lessons we failed at, we can start to really value the coaching we received, and really value the ability to connect with somebody on a level goes beyond the norm – and provides us with everlasting value.
1. Coaches Invest in Us as Individuals
Probably all of us grew up doing something, whether it was playing piano, guitar, soccer, basketball or joining the debate team – and we had coaches and mentors that were part of our lives.
Whenever I go through old pictures and look back at my years of playing on the school soccer team, I’m reminded that I had some of the greatest years with my friends playing on that team. I’ll never forget the fun things that we did and the relationships we had. I recently realized, however, that one of the greatest and most valuable parts of being on that team were the coaches.
When you’re a kid, a coach is someone you’re likely to take for granted. As parents, we probably take our children’s coaches for granted as well – when really, it’s another way of connecting with our children. Looking back, we would probably all be very grateful for every single second that our coaches spent investing in us as individuals.
2. They Teach Us Valuable Life Skills
Back on the soccer team as a kid, I was disciplined on the regular. I can still see my coach telling me to go run more laps. One time that stands out in my mind was when I was practicing the flip throw in – and ended up hitting him right in the back of the head. I had to run laps the rest of that practice.
When you’re running those laps, you’re probably frustrated at the coach and feel like he did something wrong to you. But then, you start to realize:
- What you did wrong
- Why you did what you did
- How you could have done it differently
It’s a learning process, that only a coach can help you with. To this day, I never forgot the lesson I learned from my coach. I’ll never forget to look around and evaluate my surroundings before doing something, and to think before acting.
3. They Have a Unique Way of Relating to Others
Parents tell their kids things all the time. To this day, your parents might still try to teach you things – and you might not hear it the way that they’re trying to tell it to you. Kids have a need to prove that they know everything, that they know what’s right, and that they know better than their parents do.
Parents and their children have a sort of disconnect that coaches can sometimes feel. They understand the kids – and are therefore able to tell them the things they need to hear. For some reason, our kids are willing to accept these important life lessons when they come from their coach and are willing to learn from them.
4. They Invest Their Time in Us
Every day after work, these coaches take time out of their lives to invest into our children. I know I’ll never forget my coaches sitting with me at the end of practice waiting for my parents to come pick me up. They take time out of their day every day.
How tired are we when we come home from work?
How tired are the parents who come home after getting the kids up, dressed, fed, into school, going to work, and doing everything they do in the day?
Imagine doing all that – and then going coaching.
I’ve coached a lot, and I think it’s actually one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things to do with our free time. The emotions you feel when someone comes to you and tells you how something you said or did in their life – that you might not even remember saying because it was just the right thing to do at the time – had such a huge and powerful impact on their lives.
I remember coaching my son’s soccer team of two and three-year-old’s. There were two twins who were afraid to play, so we held their hands, ran with them on the field, and helped them kick the ball. It’s hard to forget some of these moments. I did it because people like my club soccer coach, my dad, and the people around me invested in me in the same way when I was a kid. Being a teacher, being able to invest in somebody else, and seeing the results that somebody gets when you invest in them is amazing – and extremely valuable.
5. They Teach Kids How to Be Ok with Failure
Seeing their coaches watch failure and seeing how they deal with it helps our kids with the very things that they’re going to have to deal with in life. Sports, music, the debate team, or whatever it is that you’re learning as a child is all representative of tools that you’re going to need later in life. If you don’t learn to fail early and often, life can be very difficult – and coaches help us along the way.
There are moments that might be extremely difficult for some players. Coaches sit with them on sidelines sometimes and have moments with them where they’re able to empathize with that they’re dealing with. They’ve been there and failed at the very same thing – and might know the right words to say.
We want people to invest in our children in a way that helps them become good humans. It’s what we always try to do as parents, and what the coaches around us have always tried to do.
A Message for Teachers and Coaches
I’ve had some coaches that really saw greatness in me. They saw something special in me that I didn’t see in myself. That glimmer of belief and faith coaches show in us and our kids is so special, and so powerful.
To all the coaches and teachers out there: If you feel like everything you do every day is ordinary, mundane, and you’re doing the same old thing, don’t forget that you’re investing in every one of those children’s lives. More of them will remember you than you might think, and the things you’ve said in passing will become things that they live by for the rest of their lives.
I just wanted to take a moment to a thank the coaches that are investing in our children. All the things you do every day are greatly appreciated. I’m so grateful for all the coaches that my kids have had that they listen to and learn valuable life lessons from, which is exactly what we want.
The Bottom Line
The best part of my job, whether I’m coaching children or adults, is finding that value of how we can make it to the next level or help them get through something that’s tough.
Thank you to all the coaches and to my coaches that helped me get to where I am today. It allowed me to continue to learn and always remember that I don’t have everything all figured out.
Who’s the coach that you’ve worked with that’s helped change your life? Is it a business coach? A soccer coach? Is it a music teacher? Is a teacher in general who has given you everlasting data, information, and advice? Share your story with us.