The Cores of Coaching: Teamwork as a Coaching Staff Written By Shannon Murray
As a softball coach, every day we emphasize the importance of teamwork and the value of working together to our players. Learning this worthwhile lesson teaches our girls to carry this on and off the field. Though we can tell them a million times there is no I in Team, there is another source of knowledge for them to observe: in our actions as the coaches. We may not always realize it, the players on our team soak up our actions in addition to our words. They need to see us practice what we preach. I have had the upmost fortunate opportunities to always coach with others that stay on the same page with me about this important concept of working together as a coaching staff. However, I know some coaches haven’t always had this pleasure. That’s why I would like to share one of the cores to coaching: Teamwork for Coaching as a Staff.
In the world of teaching, we have a saying that teachers are thieves. We are thieves in the sense that we are always stealing ideas for lesson plans, activities, strategies and assignments from each other. If we didn’t bounce ideas off one another we wouldn’t get anywhere. The same concept can apply to coaching. What good are coaches who work together if they don’t learn from one another? Every coach brings something different to the table: knowledge, drills, strategy, etc. It is of no benefit for anyone to hold onto ideas for themselves if you are working towards the same cause for your team to win. With that said, communication is key to the success of a coaching staff. Without communication, there is no way you can be on the same page about anything. Communication involves every area of the coaching position and nothing should be left out. Being a coach, you probably played on a sports team in the first place and should understand from basic knowledge that communication builds positive relationships with your team. Therefore, as a coaching staff you should want to build that open line of communication with one another. What happens if a situation should arise? Whether you agree with how one coach may handle it or not, just talk about it so all of you can come to a common understanding. You never want to be on two different sides when it comes to finding the solution to a problem on the team. It can lead to alienation of players, parents and of each other which completely wrecks team chemistry.
Preparation produces successful results when it comes to the coaching staff. Before the season starts, design and come to an understanding of a team management system (for warm-ups, how drills are run, expectations of the players and parents, etc.) so that everyone understands how the team is run and both coaches look synchronized on this. Discuss and come up with a system of how to handle different situations that might arise with the parents, players, etc. It can help you come to a quicker and more efficient agreement if the actual issue arises.
By working together you are setting a good example for the players. This teaches the girls to respect both of you and your other coaches where there is no divide. You are one coaching staff just like you are one team. Working together will contribute a large part to the success of your team and how your team is run.
Shannon’s ultimate goal is to teach her players that they are astounding young women with the potential to be great softball players through hard work, dedication and sacrifice.
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