“Love is the desire not to take, but to give.”
I know, coach! What’s love got to do with it!?
Love has everything to do with everything when it comes to helping your players get healthy, stay healthy, perform better, and step into their greatness.
Love is the desire not to take, but to give.
How to Know When Your Methods Are Taking From Your Players
- Their bodies are breaking down but they can keep going. Too much pushing, not enough recovery. The drills, the conditioning, and the extra “above and beyond” work is causing chronic, overuse type injuries.
- Their joy and passion cup is empty. Practice becomes drudgery and extra work is a chore. They can’t even articulate why they are playing anymore. They feel trapped by the sport that once brought them joy.
- They are no longer seeking you out for guidance, help, and support. I’ve been here before and it sucks. When you notice your players are no longer reaching out to you, hanging out with you, and looking out for you. As a love-powered coach, this is an indicator you are not winning.
But as in any relationship, if the other person feels like you are taking more than giving, the natural response will be to pull away and walk away.
How to Transform Your Coaching to Being Life-Giving
- Honor your players bodies and minds by observing them and asking them how they are feeling.
- “Guys, I’ve been noticing some of you seem a little beat up. I think we need a recovery day. Who’s up for some stretching, breathing, and light movement so that we feel physically strong tomorrow?”
- “Team, I am going to pass out a sheet of paper to each of you. Just write down the one word or sentence that describes how you are feeling about ________ (sport name) right now. No need to write your name down unless you want to.”
- This will give you a pulse check on reality and the opportunity to make changes.
- Bring in a Guest Motivational Speaker or Have Your Players Participate in a Workshop
- This is something I personally do as well as quite a few of my colleagues. Some options locally/virtually include:
- Ryan Defibaugh with MBS Performance
- Adam Bradley with Lead Em’ Up
- You could even jump on YouTube university and find some great, inspiring speeches that will get the team realigned and purpose filled again.
- Set up 1 on 1’s and Ask Questions
A college athlete came to me the other day and asked if she should tell her coaches the truth about how she is feeling unmotivated, useless on the team, and mentally exhausted.
Why would she lie?
I learned why. She had seen those coaches respond with condemnation and disappointment with a previous player and she had not met 1 on 1 with them since “last year's single 1 on 1”.
Coaches who schedule regular 1 on 1’s build trust overtime. Once trust is there, it opens the door to vulnerability. See Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team.
A love-powered leader’s top desire is to give not take. We are selfish in nature so we need to work hard to be givers of life, love, and encouragement.
Dedicated to your athlete’s success on and off the field,
Coach Andrew Simpson