6 Ways to Be Coachable

This article was written by Mason Waters and posted on The Coaching Toolbox with his permission

It first appeared on Medium.com

Players, coaches want you to be successful.

As a coach, I know I can say that honestly. I want my players to be successful. I really do. And I could care less about the ‘glory’ of it, if anyone knows I helped along the way. The game’s about the players, not me. There’s ten thousand coaches around the globe who share that same heartbeat of coaching. At the end of the day, a player’s success is a two way street. So, great players have to have the humility and the hunger to receive coaching.

Players, your job is to make your job, and your coaches job easier by being coachable. Here’s a few ways to make your coaches job easier, more enjoyable, more rewarding, and more successful. If you can make these points habit, you’ll also improve quicker and more efficiently. And your relationship with your coach will be amazing, which is a magnificent thing!

6 Amazing Ways You Can Contribute to Your Team

1. Just say “Yes Coach” – One of the most frustrating things as a coach is correcting a player or teaching them a point and them say “Well coach, John was in my way…” or a very rapid “I know” before I can even finish my sentence that I intend to help the player. Along similar lines, Players, just say yes sir or yes ma’am when a coach corrects you, thank them, and implement what they’re saying.

Be confident, not insecure when a coach (or team leader) corrects you. Confident players receive correction and think, “My teammate or coach is revealing a weakness in my game that needs to improve. I’m thankful they want to see me improve.” Confident players want as many good basketball eyes on their game so they can have a better understanding of what they need to work on.

Insecure players reject the truth that their game has deficiencies and thinks, “I don’t have that weakness in my game.” “I don’t need a coach.” Insecure players receive correction as an insult, and think they can be great alone.

2. Make and Keep eye contact  –  Eye contact is respectful. It shows you care. You’ll listen better and learn more. Your play will improve. Coaches and players need to consistently work on this and remember, how does it feel to talk to someone who’s eyes are on the clouds passing overhead?

3. Ask “What’s Next?”  – Either to yourself or your coach, be asking this question. In practice, prepare yourself for the next drill or station, and be ready to direct your teammates to transition into the next drill fast. Successful practices really only need one player to be vocal and fully aware of what’s going on.

4. Invite coaching  – Here’s the attitude to have and phenomenal things to say to your coach:

“Coach, I don’t want to be mediocre. I want to achieve my best. If I’m ever out of line of that, please correct me.” Or, “Coach, I want to be the most coachable guy on the team. If I’m ever not being coachable, please correct me and I’ll adjust.” What kind of athlete do you want to be? Better yet, what kind of person do you want to be? Let your coaches and teammates you trust know and invite them into your development because to be our best, we’d be wise to let those around us know the type of person we want to become.

5. Stay out of trouble  –  I could list a thousand reasons why, but I’m sure you already know 999 of them.

6. Eliminate ABC  –  Arguing. Blaming. Complaining. Honestly, I love it when people embody these three words with their actions. Everything is better. When someone argues, blames, or complains, I become full of inspiration and motivation to fulfill my dreams. Please tell me you hear the sarcasm in that.

For a second here, forget others and consider just how this ABC impacts you! It takes your focus off your mission. Those who argue, blame, and complain focus on all that’s wrong and all the reasons something can’t get done as opposed to finding and creating reasons for things to get done, like winning a game.

Replace this ABC with LOP (Listening, Own it, and Positivity)

  • When you want to argue, take a step back and listen. Arguing is a waste. You and your team will benefit from that.
  • When you make a mistake, own it. Say “That was my fault. I’m gonna win the next play though.”
  • When you or a teammate complain, do something positive. Give a high five, dance, clap, or tell a teammate, “Dang, that was an awesome play!”

It flows over …

The beauty of sports is that the lessons learned in the locker room or at practice are typically lessons that last a lifetime and flows over into every aspect of life. If WE ALL (coaches and players) make these points habits, we’ll surely benefit on the court, and even more importantly in our relationships with everyone else.

I’m cheering for you,

Mason Waters

About the Author of this Article

Mason Waters is in his fourth season with Collegiate Prep Basketball Academy in Atlanta, Georgia.

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