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Impact Refreshers

6 Myths of Coaching

Photo by Han Duong |

Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies
Oh no no you can’t disguise 

Fleetwood Mac

Here are six myths about coaching from the IMPACT manual. Do any of these seem true to you?

If you have played the game, you are a good coach

  1. If you have played the game, you are a good coach
  2. If you have played the game, you are a better coach than those who haven’t played
  3. If you have coached for many years, you are a good coach
  4. The best trained coaches are needed more at the elite levels rather than the beginning levels
  5. Volunteer coaches cannot be fired
  6. Volunteer coaches should not be held to the same standards or expectations as paid coaches

Remember these are myths, not necessarily true. It may help to have played before; John Dunning at Stanford did pretty well without having a playing career to fall back on. Coaching a certain number of years doesn’t make you a great coach. Karch is doing alright with precious little experience. And certainly, volunteers are just as important as their paid colleagues.

We are guilty of repeating what others do, simply because we see them doing it, without understanding why. Similar to myths, we believe certain things are right, without checking into the facts. Here are a few more coaching ideas that get carried along from year to year, that may not benefit your players in any way.

  • Ice a sprain.
  • Stretch before you play.
  • A good way to determine if you are in shape at tryouts is to run the mile.
  • You have to warm up before you touch the ball.
  • Pepper is a good way to learn ball control.
  • Perimeter defense is the best defense.
  • Tall players should play middle.

The best ways to get better at coaching are to continue to learn, and to find a good mentor who can help you discuss if your methods are sound. For anything you (think you) believe in, do a little research to see if in fact your belief holds up. Most long-time coaches I know have changed EVERYTHING since they began coaching. Why? Because they continued to learn that simply “doing what your coach did” isn’t the best way for every team.

Learn your team and adapt to them, despite the myths that you might believe in.

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