By Greg Bach
You want your young athletes learning and improving every day, right?
But what’s your plan for making it happen?
And – equally important – ensuring that their journey is both filled with fun and forges a genuine love of the sport.
We sat down with Chicago Bears head coach John Fox, who talked about the importance of teaching, connecting and respecting your players.
Use these five tips from Fox now to be a difference maker with your team:
Be a coach that truly cares: “Be compassionate; be a teacher,” Fox says. “Not a screamer and a hollerer.”
Path to success: “You teach them how to be successful,” he says. “It’s how to get better every day. The concept of being above the line every day, regardless of what your emotion is that day or how you feel, but being an above the line performer every day. And when you can kind of convince guys that you’re doing stuff for something bigger than themselves, that it’s for the guy next to you, then the sky is the limit.”
Game planning for life: “As a coach you’re not just teaching the X’s and O’s of whatever sport you coach,” Fox says. “You’re teaching them how to deal with life, how to be a better man or woman, and how to be a better human being.”
Be a teacher: “Don’t go overboard on the machoism of the game,” Fox says. “Just be a teacher. Sometimes some frustrated ex-athletes aren’t as good as a father who actually understands raising kids. I was blessed that I had a bunch of dads who coached me and my children, so I was fortunate in that aspect.”
Remember, you’re coaching kids: “I remind my coaches that this is somebody’s son,” Fox says. “Treat these young athletes like they’re your own.”
A top mental skills coach and former college athlete – who has worked with the Browns, Bengals, Jets and Giants – on how you can help build teams that care, appreciate and support each other
Bowling Green football coach Mike Jinks on helping young athletes embrace roles, recognize responsibilities and be all in for the team
Dr. Jesse Michel, mental skills coordinator for the World Series Champion Houston Astros, on helping young athletes improve focus and concentration to perform at their best
University of Tulsa football coach Philip Montgomery on the importance of sending players home in a positive frame of mind