“Dreams aren’t just visions, they’re visions coupled to strategies for making them real.” -Astro Teller
Purpose sounds like something so, so simple. It seems like common sense to have a defined purpose when one takes on an endeavor. Especially in a sports endeavor, you would think approaching that sport with a purpose and a systematic plan would come natural, right? It seems purpose should be one of the necessities of sports coaching, don’t you think?
Truth is, it’s not.
Wanting to win is not a purpose. Everybody wants to win. It’s human nature to want to succeed; it’s written in our DNA. But what sets coaches and programs apart from one another often starts with purpose. Effort and hard work are essential but without a purpose effort and work are wasted.
I used to see this lack of purpose, or more accurately a lack of defined purpose, quite often in the coaching world. There are two types of purposeful coaches. The first are the ones who just copy or borrow a purpose. You see this type a lot at coaching clinics. They hear a talk or see a workout or scheme program and take it lock, stock, and barrel back to their kids and try to make their kids fit into it.
The other type of purposeful coach—the ones I think are generally more successful in their programs—take the same information as the first type of coach but they pick, choose, and mold those ideas to fit their athletes. They know their purpose and know how to mesh information to support their purpose.
In high school sports, a coach must lead with a purpose. Every day and with everything you ask kids to do must be done for a reason. You can’t throw a blanket idea out there expecting the kids to see the purpose and commit to it. That is not what a leader does.
A leader leads.
A leader has a defined purpose.
A defined purpose that is custom fit for his or her athletes.
A purpose that gives the athletes the best chance at success. A purpose they also can envision. A purpose they willingly dedicate themselves to attain.
Everybody wants to win. They just need guidance and need to be shown the way.
The answer is not simply in a book. The answer is not simply in a purchased training program. The answer is not what Coach X does at X College.
The answer is defining a purpose that your people can buy into. A purpose that does not waste their time and not wasting kids’ time is VERY IMPORTANT in today’s culture. A coach is competing with all kinds of pretty damn fun and cool alternatives to working your ass off for three hours a day every day, you better make your time with them worth THEIR time.
Whatever the endeavor, if you’re not happy with the results you are getting, try redefining your PURPOSE. You and your people may find you like the results.