As you know I like to read and made the following notes after reading the book, the Road To Character.
Life is essentially a moral drama, a struggle for ideals, same could be said of coaching and us as individual coaches within the game at all levels. We are all flawed, in our struggle against our own weaknesses’, humility is the greatest virtue.
How many humble coaches do you know? How many hold their hand up when they have made a mistake or mistakes. They don’t because pride is the central vice.
Character is built on the course of your inner confrontation. The same can be said on our journey as coaches. The things that lead us astray are all short term, lust, fear, vanity and gluttony, in football the fear of defeat and how we react to it, the money – it goes without saying in football yet also life people will always want more. It’s just the sums in football are so big and will only get bigger.
Only by quieting our own egos can we see the world clearly.
In football how many times do you have complete clarity of the world we live in? That is why your coaching career is a ‘journey’, because the things we all call character are endured over the long term, courage, honesty and humility.
People with character are capable of long obedience. To coach at any level this is required due to your responsibilities to your audiences. It doesn’t matter if you are managing Longbai in Minhang Shanghai or Leicester City in the EPL!
I have believed for a long time now that it is the soft skills, the areas that we cannot see that are not only neglected in coaching but also not understood. Why? Fear and Vanity would be two for sure, yet no person, coach, player, manager can achieve self mastery on his or her own.
Only when you have the humility and self awareness to acknowledge this will you be able to firstly develop yourself and then the players in your charge.
Finally life must have purpose. As a coach, there must be a PURPOSE to everything you do say and act, else what’s the point?
How many coaches think like this to get the results or the reactions they want? Or, more importantly – need?
The best leaders try to lead along the grain of human nature, footballers are humans first players second.
We must recognise the different modes of life or attempt to, before you can call yourself a coach!