I watched an 8th grade football game today. As I watched the game intently, I began to see some patterns arise, but not in the most obvious places. For, it wasn’t on the playing field that I was watching… it was on the sidelines.
For many coaches, I am certain they spend hours upon hours reviewing the game film looking for strengths to maximize and weaknesses to either correct or exploit.
In this, I wonder if a coach has ever asked someone to film them and their staff as they pace up and down the sideline?
In today’s case, if they watched the game film of them, the first thing that would have jumped off the screen would have been one question…
How many coaches are there?
Good grief, there must have been a dozen on the sideline yelling out directions to the poor team on the field. If I was a player, I would have been wondering who in the world was I supposed to listen to.
It is a sad day when you ask a parent of one of the players who the head coach was and after 3 games, they respond with…
I think that one.
The second thing that should stand out was remembering what they told their players after the game. A game their team lost by a handful of touchdowns.
There are four quarters in a game and we have got to play all four.
If they could only see what they all looked like after the third quarter. They were deflated, quiet, and just flat out stopped coaching. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to make this observation.
Nothing was more obvious then when they finally decided to give the 2nd stringers a chance after not even acknowledging them in this blowout. They just sent them in cold with not even a go get ’em. It was no surprise that three plays later… the other team scored, again.
Now, here was a group of kids who sat patiently through three quarters of watching the coach favorites get pounded and then, almost token like, get thrown in the game.
Now granted, this is a big lesson to learn for the players to always be ready to play and to make the most of the opportunity.
It was a sad comment after the game when one of the 12 thousand coaches apologized to the 2nd stringers for not playing them and promised to make it up to them next game.
Hey coach, thanks for not having any confidence in me this game and therefore promising to make it up next game. Sounds like bad parenting. Always making excuses and promising to make it up next time.
Really? That’s coaching? At least he was honest. But what a bunch of baloney!
The third thing they would have seen is how badly they lacked any kind of imagination in their play calling.
I think 98% of their plays, they ran to the right. And then, they would get mad at the kids when they didn’t “execute” the play successfully. Really? They did all you asked them to do. Don’t blame them. Heck if there was any confusion on the play, it was because all twelve of you were too busy yelling out about 50 different instructions to the kids.
They ran so many plays to the right that I think a newborn child could have figured it out.
Isn’t a definition for insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
The fourth thing they may notice is when a player comes to you frustrated with a play on the field, don’t try to dazzle them with some lame coaching speech and then never play them again the rest of the game.
Show the kids you have confidence in them by sending them right back out there to execute what you just “inspired” them with. Instead, in the blowout, you reward them by sitting them back down after they have been sitting there the whole game?
A. Why would I ever approach my coach again like that?
B. Why would I ever want to play football again?
Inspiration tastes best when your action reflects your words. If I got to constantly call your bluff… your “inspiration” will simply just become noise.
Sadly, the list could go on.
But, my point is this…
In sports and in business, how often do you the “coach” evaluate your performance? Or, does it always have to be by someone else for the annual review?
If someone filmed you on the sidelines or placed some hidden cameras in your business, what would they see in how you lead? What would you see?
Sometimes, it will not be pretty. But, if you are willing to watch and then make adjustments, you just may find yourself and your team ending each game and business day… in the win column. And if you don’t happen to have won that game, you will have at least had fun trying.
Sadly, poor coaching and leadership is never fun. Especially when everybody knows it, but them.