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Coaches who want to be unshakable

Basketball seasons are long and grueling. If you want to be an  unshakable coach you have to clearly know your mission.  You have to know your purpose for coaching, otherwise your stability will be shaken if it is based on anything external. If your love for coaching is connected to winning, you won’t be able to handle the pressure of transforming a program or transforming your players. If your love for coaching is connected with the thrill of power, your players are in danger of tyranny. 

Here are some ways to be unshakable as a basketball coach

Work hard to master the balance between love and power. The Great MLK said, “Love without power is anemic and weak. Power without love is reckless and abusive.” As a coach, work hard to know where you tend to err and get mentoring on how to move toward wisdom.  Know your weaknesses because they will emerge in moments of stress and chaos. If you are down, you will tend to use the wrong tool to handle the problem. For example, you will get angry and use pressure to drive your way home, when listening and thoughtfulness would be a better choice. On the other hand, you might choose what you think is kindness to deal with a breach of conduct with your players when you should allow them to face the full consequences of their misdeeds. 

Be prepared for difficulty. One reason why coaching becomes more difficult than we imagine over the course of a season is because difficulty is often unexpected or the challenge is greater than we originally thought it would be. One coach said as the seniors on his team graduated, he had no idea the junior class was so ill-prepared for leadership. He assumed the leadership of the older group would have mentored the younger but this was surprisingly not the case. He was struck by surprise and not prepared for this difficulty. This lack of mental preparation caused him to struggle more than if he had prepared to buckle down for an intense season. When difficulty strikes you unprepared, regroup and get more strategies in place. Struggles compound when we are unprepared.

Be balanced mentally, relationally, physically and spiritually. Coaching is a draining job and during the season, coaches who are out of balance don’t take care of their wellbeing on these four crucial areas. They don’t work out, they don’t read, they shut out key relationships including time with family and God. During the season, schedule time for each category.

 

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