I sometimes hear from parents, “Why do you push so hard, they are just kids?” Yes, they are young adults, and life is full of challenges. I believe that sports, not just football, teaches young adults about life through competition. As a coach, mentor, and friend, it is my obligation to teach our players that through hard work and goal setting that anything can be accomplished if you dream it or expect it from yourself. At school, parents expect their children to succeed through good grades and conduct, why should Coaches expect below average participation and success? My parents taught me that you should always do your best or don’t do it at all. In my career with EDS, a F1000 IT Consulting firm, we were taught to set our goals high, just above what we expected we could achieve, so if we did not achieve our highest goal, we still achieved a high level of accomplishment.
As a Coach, I expect more from my players not less. People will achieve what you expect. If you set low expectations or goals then that is what you will achieve. When I started coaching t-ball, my assistant coach and I set a goal for all of our players to hit from the coach pitching after our first game. Many of the parents thought this was too hard for the kids, but in our second game, all of our players requested not to use the T and we pitched to them. During the season, a few other the other teams, complained to the league that we were not using the T. The league’s response to those complaining coaches was that we were teaching the kids how to play baseball and why was that an issue and it’s actually harder to hit a pitch so how was it unfair? I was very proud of our league for standing behind our methods.
So, do I push my players. Yes. I expect more. I challenge them to always achieve more. Later in life, they will expect more from themselves and accomplish their dreams.