People often hear me talk about the power and responsibility that comes with coaching. Rather simply, Transactional coaching versus Transformational coaching is the conflict between good coaches and bad coaches. I am constantly reminding parents that it is their role to make sure that the coach they sign their kid up to play for is transformational or transactional. By answering four simple questions parents will be able to know if the coach is transformational or not.
- Are other-centered they use their power and platform to nurture and transform players. Players follow these coaches because they sense their authenticity.
- Are dedicated to self-understanding and empathy, viewing sports as virtuous and virtue-giving discipline. They believe young people can grow and flourish in sports in a way that is more liberating and instructive than can be achieved through most any other activity.
- Empower their players by questioning their self-doubt, point out evidence to the contrary and use a mix of empathy, firmness, and affirmation to convince them of their self-worth. The players become a team.
At the core of transformational coaching is the answer to these 4 questions. Below are the questions and my answers:
Why do you coach?
I coach to help empower young female athletes to become confident women who are able to be and do whatever they want in this world. To be okay with competing, while being women of empathy and integrity who can be leaders of others, responsible and respectful of themselves, and who can change the world. I coach to teach my players how to commit to something they want by always giving their all and judging their success on doing their best. I coach to teach my players how to work with a team of people for a common goal.
Why do you coach the way you do?
I coach the way I do because of how I was raised which is to serve others. I coach the way I do to teach young women how to have a healthy relationship with men by mentoring, modeling and accepting them the way they are. I coach the way I do to contribute to their self-understanding, self-worth, identity, character and competence. I coach the way I do because every young woman needs a confiding relationship built on confidentiality and trust. I coach the way I do to be a positive influence, and to help and affirm my players to discover and identify unique gifts and talents. I coach the way I do to help teach rules, boundaries and appropriate discipline when needed. I coach the way I do to teach critical thinking and life skills.
What does it feel like to be coached by you?
Being coached by me feels fun yet structured. It feels empathetic, which allows my players to understand other people and their feelings, thoughts and desires. Empathy helps my players feel known, understood, and accepted for their authentic self. By being empathetic I allow my players to know that I see how they see, feel what they feel as I try to walk in their shoes through raising and coaching my own daughters. My players feel my kindness as I value people being kind towards one another.
How do you define success?
Parents transformational coaches are out there, and too important to a young athlete development not to look for one. Success is defined by the journey that my players are on. I teach my players by doing their best to the point that they are at peace with their work and their effort they have achieved success. How they mature, how they treat others, are they empathetic, kind and do they service others will help determine our success. If they embrace this definition of success for themselves then they will know that they are successful.