First Principle of Coaching

Outdoor hockey in Budapest, Hungary. Photo, courtesy of Attila Nagy
The word, “coach” comes from the Hungarian word, “kocsi”

Kocs is a small Hungarian village that is known for building horse drawn carts, called “kosci”. These carts transported people between Budapest and Vienna in the 15th century.

Kosci were designed to transport people from where they are to where they want to go. A simply beautiful metaphor for what a coach is meant to do.

A coach’s job is to help someone get from where they are to where they want to go. Coaching is a partnership that requires commitment to putting the athlete first; it is their journey. If you are not a player’s coach, I don’t know who you are coaching.

Essential Role of a Coach

The first responsibility of a coach is to create a safe environment. Not only do you need to take people where they want to go, they need to arrive safely. A coach has the power to facilitate a structure that supports athletes physically and psychologically.

Your team should have the freedom to take risks, make mistakes, solve problems, and grow. The ideal environment is one that challenges and supports the athletes.

In his book, The Tough Stuff, Cody Royle, Head Coach for Canada’s AFL team has this to say:

“A lot of teams do a good job in making players and staff feel welcome when they arrive, but then it stops. Or worse, it becomes ‘you’re welcome here when you’re performing well’. That’s not belonging. That’s holding someone ransom”

Human Health Comes First

Human health is essential to high performance. Supporting mental wellness is not only the right thing to do, it’s a competitive advantage.

There are 3 simple steps to support the mental health of athletes and leaders. Learn how to build an environment that supports mental health.

The player development and team building process is underpinned by human health. Healthy people perform better and that includes physical, mental, and emotional considerations.

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