If you coach long enough, you’re going to coach many great kids. There are going to be ones who you really love working with. They are hard working, dedicated, passionate and on and on the list goes.
You will also get to coach some kids who are much less enjoyable. They are sullen, crabby, whiny or just not interested in what you have to say. You know they don’t really want to be at practice or at the game and it shows in everything they say and do.
Now, most coaches have no interest in coaching the kids in the second group, and if you have a bunch of these kids at the same time, on the same team, coaching could be a nightmare. Or it can be an opportunity. I think it’s up to you!
Coaches do sometimes have total control over the types of kids they coach. In college or travel ball a coach gets to select the players they coach and if they don’t like a player’s attitude or ability level, they simply move on.
Other times, coaches are dealt a hand of players and they have to make the most out of it. Here is where a real opportunity exists.
Are you up for a challenge? I hope so, because the outcome can be amazing!
My greatest coaching memories are the result of seeing a player accomplish something great after overcoming a challenge that might have gotten them kicked off of many teams. The satisfaction that comes from helping a “troubled” player accomplish something great is far greater than any win or championship.
Don’t get me wrong. There were many times in a long career that I did have to dismiss players from teams I coached. But my greatest memories are from seeing the other end of that spectrum. I was blessed to see several players walk across the stage with a college diploma in hand after they had done something that might have derailed their life.
How do you know when to take a chance or when to cut the chord? There is no right answer. Just follow your heart and you will make the right decision but remember to take a total look before you make the decision.
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.