Coaching Management 23.2

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LEADERSHIP of trouble. Your feelings of professional accomplishment are low, which is a sign of work overload, potential burnout, and some- one who is struggling. Talk to your supervisor and family about possible solutions, or con- sider taking some time off. Do I have tIme for myself? Coaches eager for success are known to sacrifice all of their free time to meet per- ceived coaching demands, yet still feel like much is left undone. In my first five years of coaching, I felt I needed 36 hours in each day to accomplish everything. That was one of the factors that caused me to temporarily leave the profession. Figuring out how to balance the time pressures has allowed me to coach for many years since then. Do you feel the amount of time you need to put into your coaching is endless? Being able to do things for yourself without feelings of guilt, even for very short periods of time, can be mentally and physically healing. One veteran football coach told me that he always makes dates with his wife to see a movie a couple of times a week, no matter what else is on his plate. He finds that get- ting absorbed in an action thriller or laugh- ing through a comedy puts the wind back in his sails. Is my style DemanDIng or DemeanIng? Coaching is a tough gig. Certainly, coaches need to be demanding to get positive results. However, sometimes coaches cross the line and engage in behavior that is demeaning to their athletes. When a coach is demeaning, such as using insulting and degrading language, it is a sign he or she is emotionally detached from the athletes. That detachment destroys relationships and indicates the coach needs to take a huge step back. Moreover, this behavior can cost coaches their jobs. Sometimes it's tough to know if you're being demeaning. I would challenge all coaches to be really honest with themselves about this question. If you feel it is difficult to answer, have an assistant coach or peer who has a working knowledge of your prac- tices answer it for you. how Do my athletes vIew me? So many coaches seem oblivious to how their athletes perceive them. Why is this important? Well, how did you view your favorite teachers? Your current mentors? Do you trust and respect them? This is not an easy question to ask your- self, and not always an easy one to answer. One way to discern if your athletes truly value your leadership is by how often they come talk to you. Do they seek you out for advice, to joke around, and for casual con- versation? If not, they might not feel sup- ported by you or comfortable with your methods. And if athletes are not buying into your coaching, it will be hard to make any progress. Everybody needs input on their job per- formance. Waiting for an end-of-season review might be too late to get the feedback you need. By rating yourself here, you can evaluate how you're doing now, and possibly avoid difficulties in the future. CM Versions of this article will run in other sport- specific editions of Coaching Management. kEEPIng ScoRE 1. What's the frequenCy of ConVer- sations betWeen you and your boss? 0 = Hardly ever talk during a season 1 = Converse several times in the season 2 = Communicate several times per week 2. hoW do you VieW your athletes? 0 = I don't think a lot about them as individuals 1 = I view my athletes as individuals, but who are a means to an end 2 = I view my athletes as people I am there to serve and develop to their maximum potential 3. hoW often do you find floW during praCtiCes? 0 = I am never deeply immersed during practice 1 = I am deeply immersed in a few practices during the season 2 = Deep immersion happens to me in one or more practices per week 4. hoW often do you exerCise eaCh Week? 0 = I do not exercise 1 = I exercise less than three times each week 2 = I exercise three or more times each week 5. hoW Many Meaningful soCial interaCtions do you haVe eaCh day? 0 = No interactions 1 = One or two interactions 2 = More than two interactions 6. CirCle eaCh stateMent that you agree With: 1 = I feel I am moving in the right direction as a coach 1 = I feel my skills are improving 1 = I feel respected by my peers 7. hoW often do you haVe free tiMe for yourself during the CoMpeti- tiVe season? 0 = Never 1 = Seldom 2 = Frequently 8. you use deMeaning language With your athletes: 0 = Frequently 1 = Seldom 2 = Never 9. your athletes CoMe talk to you: 0 = Rarely 1 = Only to discuss topics relating to the team 2 = Frequently Total your score and compare to the following ranges. Take a close look at questions you scored low on, which might indicate an area that needs attention. 0-7 points. Caution. You may be struggling with critical ele- ments of coaching. It might be time to take some corrective actions. 8-12 points. You are probably surviving in your job. Things could be better, and you may want to look closely at areas you scored low on. 13-19 points. Congratulations. Looks like you are thriving as a coach. Keep up the good work. For each question/statement, circle the number or numbers that relate best to your response. Then add up your score and see where it falls in the three ranges offered at the bottom of this box. 26 Coaching Management PReSeaSON 2015 Click Here to sign up for our free series of educational digital newsletters

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