John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins won 10 national titles over a 12 year span. His principles emphasized character on and off the court, and remained consistent over time with a simple, calm approach. Coach Wooden helped his players get somewhere they may not have been able to get on their own, which is every coach’s objective in a nutshell. His explanation of coaching was beautifully laid out as a carefully crafted recipe:
[Great coaches are great learners. they understand they don’t know it all and invest in resources that will keep them up to date with evolving technology and technique.]
[Find out what is important to the students, because they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Understanding how they best learn is key!]
[Your coaching journey begins with a vision. Integrate your players into establishing that vision, packaging it, and “selling” it to your organization and parent group.]
[Give them a compass and the map, then let them navigate. They will need discipline and feedback along the way. Prepare them for the path and if they approach a mountain, don’t try to move it. Let them climb!]
[Orchestrate, organize, and set goals that are believable, achievable, and realistic. Success is spelled W.O.R.K; work hard, smart, and together.]
[Catch your players being great. Show them support and love through adversity and success. Be demanding, not demeaning.]
[Connect with them on a deeper level than just sport, show them you care their basic needs are being met. Coach them as young people, not just athletes.]
[Get creative! Youth coaches make it fun with an emphasis on learning and development. Create an environment where players can safely explore their limits because you encourage risk taking.]
[Why you do what you do boils down to love for your players and the sport. Passion sparks energy, enthusiasm, drive and motivation.]
Following a recipe is a great way to learn how to cook. Learning how to be a better coach takes practice and dedication. No matter the level, Wooden’s recipe will give you the tools to be the best coach you can be (remember your journey is a lifetime of learning, no matter how talented you already are). Let Wooden’s words guide you to the center of your target and “make each day your masterpiece”.
Infographics used with permission of the BelievePerform Shop.