“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I took that quotation from Leadership Freak’s post, 10 Ways to Build Powerful Legacy Now. For the purposes of this post, let’s change out “life, lived, and lived” with “coaching, coached, and coached.” I’m sure most of us coaches, no matter the level, imagine ourselves as difference makers.
Just like we want our teams and players to set goals that begin with the end in mind, we should also think about what we want our players to say about us when they’re finished. What about our coworkers? Our families?
5 ways coaches can build an amazing legacy
- Develop and maximize your talent, strengths, and skills. We’ve got to be lifelong learners. I love being a dork about my sport. I love learning from other coaches. I can’t imagine a time when I’ll think I know it all.
- Seize small opportunities. Big may follow. This one is a good one…and a thought I actually heard from another coach. He lamented that young coaches are too quick to turn down the entry level job. His advice: take a job doing what you want to do. Worry about it having cache when you actually have experience.
- Think service not success. When we only think of our own success, we take the heart out of coaching. If we believe our jobs are to make our players better human beings, service has to come before success.
- Relax. Don’t run around building a legacy. Run around making a difference. This is my favorite one. If we’re always thinking about what will be said about us in the future, we may not live in the present. We’ve got to trust that if we’re the best coaches that we can be, the rest will take care of itself.
- Elevate the needs of others over your own. In my opinion, coaching should be an “other people” job…meaning it’s about other people. It’s about developing your players. It’s about being a good coworker. It’s about equipping your assistants to be team leaders. It’s also about figuring out how to be there for our families. If we’re successful on all of those fronts, I think our legacies will be pretty amazing.
What do you think? I believe coaches have the power to change the lives of others. And those people will go out into the world and change the lives of others…and so on, and so on.