Thursday, February 27, 2020

Taking a Stand: Building the Other Half of Your Coaching Philosophy

If you were unable to watch my recent AVCA webinar, here it is!

And here's a link to the video on Vimeo (thanks for posting it, AVCA).

And here's a PDF of my slides.


  1. Eduardo, another well planned out & thought-provoking session! Thanks for sharing it with those of us who couldn't watch yesterday. I'd like to present this for you to ponder. You talked about learning being multidirectional, not just from coach to athlete, but from athletes to coaches. And you also referred to "Not being an athlete's last coach". What I'd like to present for consideration & possible discussion is, given the above & the higher recent rate of coach burnout, should there be any ownace for athlete's to "Not be a coaches last athlete"?

    1. Thanks for watching and for the question.
      I think that each of us should be mindful of how our behavior affects those around us. I also think that almost all the power in coach-player relationships resides in the coach. Even when a coach gives athletes a great deal of autonomy, the power to give and take that freedom lies in the coach. With that in mind, I think that it is important that we recognize this power imbalance. This idea frames most of how I view your question.
      I think that athletes in our care should be aware of and held accountable for their behaviors. I also think that I usually have much more experience in relationships than the athletes. If that is the case, then I think it is incumbent on me to help them understand how their behaviors affect others. I choose to treat the athletes as learners, even when they behave in ways that affect me negatively. I couple that with the Stoic idea that I can control my response to a situation much more than I can control the situation itself.
      If an athlete treats me in a manner I think is inappropriate or inconsiderate, I want to let them know that the behavior is unacceptable. I think that I should also have a clear explanation for why it was. There is a line between "because I'm in charge" and "I hope one day you'll better understand" when I impose boundaries and I want to do my best to offer the latter than the former.
      So, yes, I do think that athletes bear responsibility for their actions. I also am responsible for my own actions and ultimately, those are the only ones over which I have full control.


Road Trips (and Development) Aren't All About the Destination

Let's say you and I lived in Omaha, Nebraska and one day I woke up and wanted to go on a road trip. "Let's go west!" I cry...