See if this isn't something similar to how things went for you in the early stages of your coaching career or if this isn't similar to where you are now on your coaching journey.
In my first teaching and coaching job, I was 21 years old. I was teaching high school English at an all-boys Catholic school in the suburbs of Chicago. I had 3 classes of seniors. They were 3 & 4 years younger than me.
I had to IMMEDIATELY create a positive, loving relationship with them while at the same time create distance between us, so they saw me as an adult who commanded their respect.
"YIKES!" I thought. "How the hell am I going to do that?! I'm only 21 frickin' years old!" 3 months before that I was a college senior doing what college seniors do. I was more like a big brother to them age-wise. There were no courses in college labeled "Create Distance from Your Kids When You're 3 or 4 Years Older than Them."
While I was an athletic, fit man and a fairly big guy (6'0" - 190), I was not much of an imposing figure to other big seniors. Also, I'm not Mr. Tough Guy. I don't command fear from others. Nor do I want to. I want people to like me. I like engaging with people. I like laughing a lot, and I lake making others laugh even more. I'm basically a nice guy. I like people, and I want to discuss, laugh, and have a good time with them. Distancing myself from them was not what I was going for as I started on my teaching journey.
As a coach, I was dealing with the same thing as in the classroom. Yet, there was a subtle difference. I was asked (more like commanded) to coach American football that first year. While I love football, I hadn't played it since middle school. It was not my greatest realm of comfort with regards to leading young men.
Also, I was dealing with the most Alpha, macho, tough guys in the school - football players. Then in the winter, while I would be coaching my sport of choice - basketball - I would also be dealing with another group of Alpha males, many of them a lot taller than me. At that moment in their careers and in mine, they probably knew more about the game than I did (at least the juniors and seniors did). They had been through practices and games with the other coaches who had been coaching them, but I hadn't. I was just starting out.
Of course, I couldn't let them know that. They would see right through me if I didn't do two things - 1) Show them I knew what I was doing, and 2) Study my butt off - reading, watching videotapes (the old VHS kind!), go to coaching clinics, and talk to my new coaching mentors at that school.
#1 was not easy. In fact, #1 could not happen if I didn't accelerate my learning in #2 at warp speed. I needed to get all the knowledge I could and be well-prepared if I was going to be able to coach the juniors and seniors in some capacity, so as not to have #1 blow up in my face.
While I coached kids on all levels, the teams I coached directly were the freshmen teams in both sports. That meant that the majority of "my kids" did not know much about the high school sports experience. What I provided for them would be their first exposure to what it means to be a high school athlete. But that concept brought with it a whole new pressure. I needed to prepare those kids to become players who transitioned smoothly to the sophomore, JV, and varsity levels. I didn't want to let the other coaches down.
I needed to learn how to coach QUICKLY!
Unfortunately, in 1982, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and all the other geeks in their basements and garages had not yet had their miraculous machines and technologies out in the world, and Al Gore had not yet invented the internet. (HA!)
While I had numerous opportunities, options, places, and people to learn from, I did not have the same opportunities and options you now have in 2020.
You can sit down at your computer and in an instant, listen to any one of millions of people, watch any one of millions of videos, read any one of millions of articles, blogs, or books that can help you become a better coach. Your ability to improve is limitless.
However, so much (most, in fact) of the information out there is designed to help ALL coaches improve themselves in some way. That is a good thing. Another "however," though, is that most of the information is geared toward coaches who have been coaching for awhile. It comes from a baseline that their audience has a basic understanding of how to coach already, so the information presented is done from an assumption that the audience has a certain level of knowledge and experience.
That is why I created the Fast Track Lab for New Coaches Membership Site. This information is geared specifically FOR NEW COACHES.
Of course, new coaches can certainly learn from the other information out there. Conversely, the information in our FTL4NC membership site can be helpful for veteran coaches, too. However, the difference is that every piece of content I put into the membership site is done so with new coaches in mind. It is geared specifically for new coaches.
What Constitutes a New Coach?
You may be wondering, "Who do you consider a new coach, Scott?"
Obviously, anyone who is just starting to coach (or even thinking about starting to coach) is a new coach. However, all of us who stay in coaching for any length of time realize that those first few years of coaching were the years where we really felt like "newbies" to it. So, I consider coaches who are in their first 5 years of coaching to be prime candidates for this program.
However, there is another group who I call new coaches for this program. Let's say you've been coaching as an assistant or in some other capacity at a school or a league for 7 years. You have a good handle on the situation, and you understand a whole lot about how to coach kids in the role that you are in. Now, suddenly, the head coach for whom you have been an assistant takes a job at another school. You apply for and are awarded the head coach job. Congratulations! THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET A WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT THAN THEY WERE THE LAST 7 YEARS.
Or let's say after those 7 years, you really want to become a head coach. The head coach for whom you are an assistant is in her/his 40's, very successful, and loves working there, and the community loves her/him. You are not going to be the head coach there anytime soon. So you decide to apply elsewhere. You nail the interview (hopefully with your current head coach's recommendation of you - a concept we will cover in FTL4NC at some point by the way), and you are offered the job. Congratulations! THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET A WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT THAN THEY WERE THE LAST 7 YEARS.
These are the types of people I consider as new coaches - coaches on the job for 5 years or less and coaches in a new position of some sort for 5 years or less.
So I encourage anyone who falls into the categories mentioned to join us in the Fast Track Lab for New Coaches Membership Site TODAY! Veteran coaches are certainly encouraged to join us, too, as they will find information they can use. They can also be voices of wisdom and experience to help our new coaches.
But you need to act now. Registration for the membership site closes on April 1st, and it will not re-open until later in the year.
The moment you sign up, you will have access to the first video lesson on "A Vision for Coaches," the first 4 episodes of the "Great Quotes for Coaches" podcast, and a Bonus Gift as my way of saying "Thanks" for checking it out.
So click the button below to sign up now, and let's get you started on the next steps of your coaching journey. I look forward to seeing you in the Fast Track Lab for New Coaches Membership Site!