Are You Ready for the New Reality of Coaching Kids from a Distance?

Check out that title again. I don't believe I just wrote that. I don't want to believe it. I hope it's not true. And yet, I fear that it may be our reality for some time as we move forward.

Now for those of you who know me personally, you know I am not a "gloom & doom" guy. I am upbeat, energized, enthusiastic, and excited for life. I am a "glass is half-full" person through and through.

So for me to write that title took some effort. 

But here's the deal. I really believe that this new reality that we are going through right now is with us for more than just a few weeks. As I sit here typing this, my wife is sitting 10 feet away from me online posting lessons and grading assignments from her high school Spanish students - on a Sunday afternoon. Many of you taught your classes this past week through your computers for the first time ever.  This is not what you had in mind when you decided you wanted to teach. 

This is CERTAINLY not what you had in mind when you decided to coach. Coaching is personal. Coaching requires close interpersonal connection. Coaching requires physical movement, touching, demonstrating, getting in people's personal spaces at times, and all kinds of 1-on-1, face-to-face, in-person communication. It is not meant to be done virtually.

Yet that is where we are right now. How prepared are you for this? I'd venture to guess your answer is "not very." Of course, it is. This is not what you signed up for.

But it is what you are dealing with now.

So what are you going to do about it? Bemoan the fact that this is the way it is and turn on Netflix? Complain to all your friends that this isn't right?

Or are you going to sit down at the computer, or your phone, or your tablet and start reaching out to your kids? Are you going to send them a group text telling them how much you miss them? Are you going to talk about how what matters most to you right now is staying connected with all of them?

Coach, they need you right now. Reach out to them. Let them know you're there. Let them know "we're going to get through this. Some way, somehow, we will get through this." They need your confidence, your wisdom, your spirit, your comfort. They need YOU.

If you are struggling to figure out what to say, you're not alone. It's like what so many of us go through when a friend of ours loses a loved one. We just don't know what to say that will help them. Say anything. It truly is the love and the connection that counts.

We are all struggling. These are uncharted waters. Just tell your players what you feel. Say what comes to mind. Tell them you miss them. Tell them you can't wait to get back to practice. Tell them anything, but tell them something. They need you.

If you need help in figuring out how to do this online, I'm here. I'm reaching out to you to let you know that, like you are there for your kids, I'm here for you. While I have never had to coach my kids or my teams online, I have been coaching coaches online for quite a few years now. I may not have all the answers for you. Heck, I may not have any answers for you. But I'm willing to try. I'm here to help.

It's why I created my first coaching workshop in 2000. It's why I started speaking with Proactive Coaching in 2008. It's why I started Coach with Character in 2010, which became Great Resources for Coaches in 2017. It's why I just launched the Fast Track Lab for New Coaches Membership Site.

I want to help coaches navigate this journey. If you need some help, reach out. I'll do my best to help you, to help your kids, to offer assistance, guidance, or send you to someone else who can help you better than I. Or if you just need someone to listen, I'm here for you.

We will get through this. But the only way we will get through this is the way you have been preaching that same kind of message to your kids for however long you have been coaching - TOGETHER.

Reach out to your kids. Be there for them. And let me know if I can help in any way.



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