Monday, September 17, 2012

Establishing a Coaching Philosophy

In hunting for a perfect example of a coaching philosophy, I ran across a very interesting article from 2006 involving the U.S.A Men’s basketball team and head coach Mike Krzyzwski. The team was about to take a team picture and the photographer asked all coaches to be seated in the middle and front row for the picture. Coach K declined with this statement: “We aren't going to sit there. Coaches will be on the sides, I do that with all my teams. The players are the most important, and they are supported by us. We're there in support of them. We aren't there because of us. The only way to accomplish what we want to accomplish is to do it together. It's not about me or any single individual." That is where I would like to put the focus of my coaching philosophy, placing my athlete’s NEEDS before my professional WANTS. The role of a coach is much more than X’s and O’s, wins and losses, it’s about taking young individuals with different needs, different backgrounds and different paths in life and molding them into high character and high moral valued individuals along with giving them the resource, knowledge and motivation to become the best athlete and teammate they could become. The love of being a coach, teacher and leader comes very naturally and has been a dream of mine since grade school. The realm of sports is more than just a game, which is a cliché line but very true. According to Clifford and Feezel “Coaches and, for that matter, administrators, parents, fans, officials, and everyone else involved in youth athletics are moral educators, whether they want to be or not.” In the world of sports we get too wrapped up in the need to win and lose sight of what sports are really meant for, Clifford and Feezel stated “Sports creates a world of utopia, were we can participate in a realm governed by rules and regulation, were we can escape the ruggedness of the real world, but also know sports can be a helpful tool in creating values and life-long lessons to those who participate.” A sport is one of the best ways to teach morals, virtue and life-long lessons to anyone involved. It’s very difficult to establish a coaching philosophy with no coaching experience, but as time passes, I will gain that necessary experience needed to build a winning program. But most importantly, I will become the motivational leader to those individuals participating in my program, helping them reach their full potential on and off the field. There would be nothing greater, than hearing others speak about my current or former athletes with high regard. “High-character individuals, leaders, hard workers, respectful, never make excuses, loyal, strong, intelligent and always positive.” Ultimately my coaching philosophy will be based on me becoming the best role-model, coach, teacher, leader, father, counselor, educator, and mentor I could ever possibly become; this will be foundation for my coaching philosophy.  

Reference - It's all about the team for Krzyzewski
Clifford, C., & Feezell, R. M., (2010). Sport and character: reclaiming the principles of sportsmanship. 16, pp 87


  1. Developing a coaching philosophy is based on how much experience you have and is inevitable to change as we grow wiser in the years of being a coach. It is important that we do develop a set of morals for ourselves and for our athletes so that we never stray away from the foundation we set for ourselves. For some coaches, it is easy to lose sight of what is important when life gets difficult, when athletes begin to misbehave or lose focus. That is why these philosophies are crucial to not only our development, but to those we mentor and train to be better coaches or athletes. Therefore, finding the best approach to creating a philosophy will be different for everyone, and should be unique for each individual for what they want to accomplish.

  2. After reading your blog, I feel like it is important for all coaches to establish a coaching philosophy. When a coach has a coaching philosophy’ it gives them a reassurance on what they value and how they want to coach. A coach can use their coaching philosophy as a road map to guide them when they start coaching’ and to look back on later in life when they are a veteran coach. I view a coaching philosophy as being the backbone of a coach. A coaching philosophy can be used as a mental note for coaches to use and to help them develop during their coaching careers. In your blog you made some great points. Coaches should put their players before themselves and realize that coaching is much more than wins and losses, it’s about making a difference and having a positive influence on their players’ lives. Your blog was inspirational because I’m going to be a coach in the future and the things that you discuss in your blog were very touching. I’m going to take into account the things that you mention in your blog when I coach.