Positive Coaching Strategies

What makes a successful coach? For some, it might be the wins and losses, or the points on the scoreboard. For Assistant Boys’ Basketball Coach Matt Monroe, it’s one who is loving, caring, inspiring, a relationship builder, teacher, motivator, and servant. In an article for FastModelSports, he explains some best practices for becoming this type of coach and leading your athletes in a productive and positive way.

First, Monroe suggests that being a successful leader entails taking some time to figure out your reason for becoming a coach. This could be anything from helping athletes to become better people to helping them learn to deal with any obstacle that they face in life. However, he stresses that this mission should not be focused solely on winning games.

“If your why is about winning championships, gaining notoriety, making money, or anything else along those lines then you are in it for all of the wrong reasons,” writes Monroe. “Not only that, but you will also struggle to achieve any long-term success or leave a lasting positive impact…As a coach, I could win twenty-plus games every year and dozens of championships, but if I don’t have a positive impact on the lives of the players I coach then I am not a success.”

Once you know your “why,” Monroe recommends that coaches focus some of their time on making sure that their actions echo their mission. While it is easy to become passionate over an incorrect call or the loss of a game, the way that you act as a coach is the model for how your players should act, and they will more than likely carry this with them through life. If you want your players to react to different situations in calm, positive ways, then you should do so as well.

“One thing I have tried to do the last several years is reflect on my own body language while I am coaching,” writes Monroe. “What do I look like when a player makes a mistake on the floor? Do I roll my eyes or throw my hands up in the air? If I display that type of negative body language with my players, how can I expect them to not do the same?”

Part of setting the tone for your team includes being wary of the way that you treat your players on a day-to-day basis. According to Monroe, positive coaches build up and inspire their players, even when they make a mistake. Instead of making that player feel worse about their blunder, help them to move past it.

“The best coaches are teachers of the game. If this is the case, then every mistake is a teachable moment,” writes Monroe. “Identify the problem, show the player how to correct it, and instill confidence in them that you believe they will get it right the next time they have the opportunity.”

While building up your players is important to keeping them moving forward, Monroe does make sure to mention that there are situations that will call for a little bit of tough love. However, if you are striving to be a positive coach, you do not want this to mean using negative actions such as fear, intimidation, or threats. Instead, Monroe points out that tough love entails always being truthful with your players.

“When you give your players tough love show them how they can be more, don’t just leave them with the things they are deficient at,” he writes. “Most importantly, however, is that when you give your players tough love make sure to show them that the reason you are is because you care about them.”

Last, Monroe suggests building the culture that you want and sticking to it. If everyone, players, assistant coaches, and even parents, are on the same page when it comes to the vision and values that you have for the team, then your chances of success greatly increase.

“In my experience, most winning cultures are built on these pillars: positivity, teamwork, sacrifice, shared vision, caring, competitive nature, dedication, and hard work,” writes Monroe. “To build a great culture, you must invest in it every day. It’s one thing to just put your vision and mission down on paper, it’s another to live it and implement it everything you do.”

Click here to read the full article.

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