Day 1: "So You Want to Be a Coach"
April 2, 2011
Today [Friday] was Day 1 of my experience with the "So You Want To Be A Coach" program here in Indianapolis. I have never been in Indianapolis and the downtown area is awesome. It's definitely not like Idaho or Colorado Springs! Before I get into details of my day, I want to describe what this program is all about. There are about 65 participants, all in their senior year of college looking for a graduate assistant coaching job. This program provides a great opportunity for these 65 participants to become graduate assistants at a university. The program is largely a way for the participants to begin networking with coaches all across the nation. In many aspects, the coaching world is much like a business. Many of the participants are picked up by head coaches looking for graduate assistants. It's interesting to watch these young ladies trying to get attention from coaches so they can have a one-up on the other girls. Luckily, I already have a coaching job at the Prep School! *smile*
Okay, enough of the details of the program. Before I went to register for "So" (that's what everyone calls the program), Coach Williams and Coach Jackson took me to Steak and Shake for a burger and fries for lunch. Apparently, if you haven't eaten at Steak and Shake, you are missing out. *smile* I thought it was pretty good, but I thought it was weird their fries were so small and skinny.
After Steak and Shake the coaches dropped me off for my first meetings. I was a little nervous because I didn't know any of the girls. Those nerves went away fairly quickly when they made all 65 of us participate in an ice breaker exercise. Thankfully the exercise worked and most of us felt comfortable enough with one another that we could begin the sessions. Each session had a variety of head coaches that talked about different aspects new coaches will have to deal with in their careers. A few topics were "How To Develop Working Relationships," "Recruiting," and "Dealing with Angry Parents." I really liked the session about developing relationships. From my perspective, relationships with players, coaches and parents are vital. Building relationships between players and coaches can make or break a program. A few of the coaches really harped on that.
There were many overarching themes I thought many coaches mentioned throughout the day. One was that as you start your career in anything, specifically coaching, you have to do the little things. You can't expect to be respected, you have to show the respect and be actively engaged in doing the little things or dirty work. Another theme I heard throughout the day was, "hard work is what truly brings success." Every coach that spoke today mentioned hard work. The last thing that really struck me was from Coach Shanice Stephans from the University of North Texas. She described the importance of recruiting good character players. She said, "When turning around a program, recruiting good character kids over bad attitude kids is what makes the difference." Most of the coaches described how important it is to have players with good attitudes and good character. I really liked that because I think the Academy is typically a good representative of athletes with good character.
Today's experience was awesome and it's only supposed to get better the next two days. I need to finish a little bit more homework and climb into bed. Tomorrow is a full day of more sessions and on court presentations. Should be a great day and don't worry, I'll tell you all about it tomorrow! Good Night!