Ineffective coaches try to make change happen. A great mentor of mine said ‘You are perfectly designed to get the results you are currently getting’ He was not talking about the score but the type of environment we are creating by our own actions and behaviours. Great coaches (or aspiring to be great coaches) focus on creating the conditions that can produce change and that can eventually cause change to be self-sustaining.
The environment created within a team is impacted by numerous factors which are constantly changing. The players, coach, parents, supporters, playing field, weather, referee, player friendships are all examples of the interactions that create the environment. The skilled coach is key to managing this ‘system’ He/she needs to work on co-operation of all these moving parts and conversely remove competition between the parts. Understanding behaviour is key and managing people and setting the right environment are the foundations for success.
Deming said that hard work and best efforts by themselves will not produce quality in the workplace, that knowledge is required. It is no different in football. We have all heard the coach espousing more effort and the post match analysis of ‘They wanted it more’ Well, is that really going to achieve the goal of player and team development? I believe you have to get the knowledge first and that is why great coaches like Ray Power, Gary Curneen, Dan Wright, Matt Whitehouse and many more get their message over so well. They share their message and allow the rest of us to gain knowledge. I am aiming to use this knowledge along with my understanding of behaviour to be the best coach I can be. I understand that I need to facilitate change as a coach and this knowledge helps me on my journey.
I think the ‘Fishtank’ analogy best sums this up. In a fishtank you have many different types of fish, all doing different things. the environment is created by all the different interactions. If the water becomes cloudy or toxic, you don’t take out a fish and clean it to change the environment. You clean the fishtank!
So what are you doing to firstly clean the tank and then what are you learning to make the environment self-sustaining?