THE COACH AS A FATHER FIGURE
Yesterday was Father’s Day and I couldn’t help but think about the similarities in responsibilities that a coach has with a father. I have often heard people say that coaches have the ability to have as much influence on their athletes that anyone. While parents should, without question, serve as the primary influences in their young people’s lives there is no doubt that coaches have a substantial platform to impact them, as well.
In my book Finishing The Job (www.FinishingTheJob.com) I wrote that Michael Bradley, a former NBA player and NCAA All-American, calls Steve Lappas, his former coach at Villanova, every Father’s Day to thank him for being such a tremendous role model in his life.
Only some of the wins and losses will be memorable. It is the impact that a coach can have on his athletes and the impact of those lifelong relationships that will have the most profound impact. If you are a coach and did not get a phone call on Father’s Day from a former player that is not to say you have not made an impact on the lives of those you coached. Rather, if you did get a phone call know that you have been fulfilling your platform well.
By no means am I saying that a coach should be a substitute for his athletes’ fathers. Rather, a coach has the opportunity to role model the most important attributes that a father can provide his son or daughter. Here are the three most important fatherly attributes that a coach should exhibit:
1. Show them that you believe in them.
2. Take an interest in their life outside of your sport.
3. Be fair, but be firm. They don’t have to always like you. But they should always respect you.
Coaches, Happy Fathers’ Day. Be sure to model the attributes of a great father to your athletes.
Resources Mentioned In This Blog
Book: Finishing The Job, http://www.FinishingTheJob.com.
Question: What coach has displayed the attributes of a father figure in your life?