There is a notion that if you want to be good at something, to be successful, you look for the best person to work with and that person is usually of an authoritarian position.
But is that always true though? Is the best coach always the right coach for your child? Coaches are a dime a dozen in the coaching profession. Just like any profession, there are the master coaches who have a reputation of consistently developing champions; there are the seasoned coaches who are experts in their field; and then there are the rookie coaches.
So, how do you find a coach who is the right fit for your child? How do you find a coach who is not just singing a good song? How do you know if the coach is not just tickling your ears saying what you want to hear?
Here are a few simple guidelines:
- Accreditation. Teaching tennis is a profession that is available to just about anybody owning a tennis racquet. You want to make sure the coach you're recruiting for your child has the knowledge beyond the current level of your child. At the minimum, there are stepping stones in the program to accommodate your child's tennis development.
- Know their philosophy. Every good coach has their own philosophy stemmed from years of experiences. It's their belief system. There mission statement.
- Relational. At the end of the day, it's about human connections. Communications. You'd want to make sure the coach understands you're included in this three-way relationship. It's a package deal. It's teamwork.
- Chemistry. The best coach for your child is someone who can build good chemistry with your child; not just by their status. The best coach in the world is not necessarily the best fit for your child. Your child's enthusiasm working with the coach is a sure sign of good chemistry.
- Has high expectations. There is no substitution to setting the bar high in pursuit of excellence. Coaches with high expectations are usually demanding and brutally honest. No one said to be good is easy.
- Accountable. While students are responsible and made accountable for their own growth, coaches are responsible to get the most out of them. Within each coach is the pride of seeing their students succeed. They are diligently looking for ways to help your child improve.
- Goals oriented. Burnt out is a word that is used by the mushy individual who prefers to throw in the towel than plunging through tough times. Good coaches know the importance of resetting goals throughout the development and performance journey. The level doesn't stay linear. It's a metric measure of getting better or getting worse.
- Congruency. Avoid the trap from coaches telling you what you want to hear. Watch if they are delivering their words. That is not to say you question every single thing when they don't follow the plan. Look at the big picture. Is what they're doing with your child moving in the right direction.
Finding the right coach takes hard work, dedication, and due diligence from you. Remember, the best coach does not inevitably mean it is the right coach for your child. The importance lies in finding a coach who has the necessary tools to empower him or her for the future ahead.
See you next week.
See you next week.