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LovePrints. Why do we coach?

Why do we coach?

In every coaching interview that I have ever given or been on, the question has come up in some way or another. Why do you coach? There have been as many answers as interviews, and while some good answers are given, some bad ones are given as well. There might not be a perfect answer, but the coach should have some idea of why they want the job. They should have some idea of why they will succeed at the job. If they don’t know why they want to job, it is unlikely that they know how to be successful at it.

I can’t speak for all coaches. I won’t speak for all coaches. I know why I coach, and there are several reasons. There are some jobs that have winning games as the focus, and there are some that place character as the priority. Some coaching positions are at schools or with teams that don’t care about academics, and some that are faith based. There is a constant for me. I only seek coaching jobs where the focus is known and honored. This is important.

Coaching is love. Coaching is caring. Coaching is teaching. Coaching is support. Coaching is being present. Coaching is being prepared. For me, the first thing is important thing I need to know is why. Why do you need me? Why should I coach with/for you? Why?

I coach out of service. It is an easier space to work in if service is the top priority. I can’t coach and think of myself first. I need to be excited about building something. I need to feel like I am not really working. I need to feel like I’m adding. I need to feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself. I need to know that todays work is a part of the greater process, and that my input is a part of a greater plan. I need to consider those young people I am coaching more than I consider myself. I need to think of them first. Always.

The ability to see the greater version of people is a gift. I can see past flaws and weaknesses. Those are correctable. Those are temporary. It is a blessing to be able to see a diamond when it’s just coal. The diamond is simply waiting for a change of environment to recreate itself in its greater form. It requires pressure and friction, and it requires someone to dust it off and place it in a perfect setting to shine.

I learned long ago that when I coach from this place, everything else that can be a focus is easy. When I remember them first, I take care of the small details. I prepare better. I plan better. I adjust better. I correct better. I teach better. I applaud louder. I love stronger.

When a coaching position opens, ask what the job is. Is it winning? Ask questions. What is winning? What is acceptable standards for winning? What is success? What is the task each day?

I coach to serve. I coach to teach. I coach to remove mistakes. I coach to strengthen. I coach to learn. I coach to share. I coach to win. I coach to love.

The question is, why do you coach?

Posted in Coaching
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LovePrints. USA Football. Love, one play, one rep, at a time.


Action in love. Love in action.

A Saturday morning in San Antonio, Texas. Hundreds of young athletes, hundreds of parents, and a few dozen coaches, all giving up a weekend morning for something or someone they love. All connected by a game, all connected by ambition, and all connected by the colors. Red, white, and blue. All for the game we love. Football. USA Football.

The young people love the game so much that they gave up a free weekend to give themselves a chance to be better at it. They put down their cell phones, disconnected from social media, and they turned off their televisions for a chance to participate in a game that adds character, strength, inclusion, and love. Love of self, others, and something bigger than themselves. Love of a game that can take them places they have never even dreamed of. For colors that when at their best, loves them back.

The young people trusted the process, engaged with their new brothers, competed at a higher level, and gave themselves a mirror to measure themselves in. They were joined by parents who work hard to provide these opportunities, provide the gear to train in, the transportation and meals, plus the encouragement needed. These parents sit in the Texas sun, strain their eyes searching for their young ones, and cheer like crazy before, during, and after the plays are made. And, when they are not made.

The coaches give up time from their own families to add to, help with, and teach these young people. They love the game enough to add to its possibilities, and to pass on their knowledge to others. These coaches understand that the game deserves love, respect, and a showcase, so they provide it all in their own individual and collective labors of love.

USA Football has done an exceptional job in organizing these camps and games. They have included international development deals with other countries, who have all embraced this American game and added their own love to it. From all parts of the USA, families choose to find and make time to include themselves in this game, this process, this adventure. Many college and NFL players have come through this program, and have shown that when the stars and stripes are earned, they are worn with pride and honor. Earn your stars is more than football. It is a wonderful bit of direction, a call to arms, and a celebration of who we are, and who we want to be.

I love looking in the eyes of these young football players. That glow, that sparkle in their eyes come from deep down within them. It is about the country, the game, and themselves. They know that the honor can’t be given, it must be earned. When you earn your stars, you also earn a bit more pride in yourself. That is a powerful thing.

Here’s to USA Football. Earn your stars.

Posted in Giving Back
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