It’s basketball season – a time of bright-colored hopes, dreams and expectations wrapped around stress that can cause even the strongest coach to buckle to his knees. I know that in my coaching career I often ruined Thanksgiving and Christmas for my family and my players by worrying about winning instead of placing people first.
It doesn’t have to be that way if we take time to stop and to reflect.
Here’s the good news: Every day is a new day. No matter what we did yesterday, we can make today better.
As the end of the year approaches, as the holiday season begins and as basketball season goes into full swing, what can you do to reduce stress for yourself and those around you? Family and players; colleagues and friends.
8 ways for coaches to have less stress and more fa-la-la’s this season
I created this list as I reflected on my own career and thought about things I would do differently or the same. Try some of these out and see how they work for you.
- Communicate as positively as possible with all people.
- Swear less. This can be difficult, I know. And in the moment it feels as though it relieves stress. But it doesn’t. It increases stress.
- Listen more. That means listening, hearing and paying attention.
- Always ask, “What can I do for you?”
- Maintain a great relationship with all of your players’ parents, even the difficult ones. I was blessed to have great relationships with parents when I coached. But there were a few I could have handled better.
- Read and grow not just as a coach but as a human being.
- Encourage all your students and your student-athletes to learn the great art of giving before getting.
- Place a sign in your office that reads, “With every right there must be a positive responsibility.”
100 things that are ‘right’ in your life
If you really want a fa-la-la season, I guarantee that following these 4 prescriptions will be a gift that keeps on giving.
- Reflect on the good in your life. I challenge you to make a list of 100 things that are right with your life.
- Enjoy the simple moments. Watch the sun rise; watch the sun set; watch your child sleeping.
- Take more risks and chances. Life is too short not to go for it. This is true at age 71 or at age 21. It’s ok to be scared and have doubts. Go for it anyway.
- Create a legacy of love, kindness and sharing. Make the world a better place. Leave a smile on the faces of the people in your life. Live with no regrets.
Have a great season of hope and faith. Know that we all will encounter the trials and tribulations of life, but they are there to make us better, to make us stronger and to allow us to fuel the great love and enjoyment that life can bring.
Quote of the Week
“Being thankful and less stressed doesn’t just help you — it helps everyone around you.”
You can’t be stressed and grateful at the same time. Take a Gratitude Walk today.
Don’t Give In!
The Insight: It’s early in the year and injuries have already decimated us; our football team is in the state semi-finals; and parents are concerned about playing time for their senior daughter. The problems have me stressed out and the season is barely underway.
The Pep Talk: As a coach, you must see the bigger picture, look beyond the problems in front of you, and realize the problems all have hidden gifts in them and new opportunities to discover.
Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Look for the gifts and the opportunities.
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Photos from Fotolia.com: Turkey – © chromaco; Santa - © Dylan