The Noble Coach - A Blog on the True Education of Sport

The Noble Coach

*A Blog on the True Education of Sport*

Blog 1:  Lifelong Education is the Essence of a Noble Coach

Noble. 

By definition, the word noble means having fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.  A Noble Coach, then, works relentlessly to exude high moral principles and ideals through sport. 

Education is the true essence of a Noble Coach

It’s the education we give and that which we pursue as leaders, all for the students who yearn for our inspiration and modeling.  To be a true Noble Coach, one must relentlessly pursue the greater life lessons that exist in sport – that rare air in which growth mindset and humility absorb the ego and insecurity that have enveloped the societal epidemic of a win-at-all-costs approach to youth sports.

Sport is arguably to purest form of character education in the world.  Sport is good. Sport is beautiful.  The teachable moments are endless. Those moments are safe and usable under the pure and protective blanket of sport.  A Noble Coach never allows a teachable moment to drift away, and unquestionably favors character education over winning a game if a choice must be made.

Here are four areas in which advanced Noble Coaches thrive:

1.      A Noble Coach is clear, consistent, positive and firm.  Verbal and physical communication are never-ending growth areas for all educators.  Clear in the articulation of directions - setting students up for success through precise communication.  Consistent in attitude, expectation setting, and accountability practices.  Positive in approach, demeanor, and energy.  Firm, unbreakable, and professional when character education opportunities surface through sport.   A Noble Coach strikes this unique balance.

2.      A Noble Coach is humble, displays poise, and is intentional with integrity.  Ego must be managed when you are winning, as it turns into a poison of insecurity when you are losing.  Both ego and insecurity represent the evils of win-at-all-cost youth sport coaches, and can cause coaches to make decisions they would never make in any other capacity. 

3.      A Noble Coach understands the importance of being an elite professional.  Modeling is our most important coaching role.  In the end, students will only remember what we said and how we said it, what we did and how we did it.  They will mimic, repeat, and apply.  Many students aspire to be coaches someday.  One could argue they’ll use our leadership as a resource for their future family.  A Noble Coach models greatness, integrity, and professionalism in coaching, so that our students understand that standard if they choose pursue coaching as a future profession.

4.      A Noble Coach has a team that displays intentional sportsmanship.  Sportsmanship is a form of maturity, compassion, and humility - vital components to character education.   Kids get their primary sports education through TV and social media.  TV and social media are driven by entertainment and controversy.  In terms of educational ratio, children are receiving hundreds of negative messages for every one educational moment that is promoted by the media.  Highlight films and controversy far exceed displays of sportsmanship.  A Noble Coach must make up this educational gap.

5.      A Noble Coach communicates character education to the entire community.  Teachers, coaches, fans, and parents should know that character education, in all its forms, is the top priority of your program.  Coaches should yearn for growth and accountability in these areas.  Noble coaches create buy-in to this message, and build a village who are all part of the educational process of sport.

Ongoing Development

The advanced makeup of a Noble Coach is an ongoing and crucial conversation.  Ask yourself:  what is the message that players will take away from you when it is their time to apply your mentorship to life?  What is the education they will receive by being a part of your program?  Every second they are under your leadership is precious.  Be Noble in all of those seconds.