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I don’t care what anybody tells you: coaching is harder than playing.

Many professional athletes think they’re naturals or shoo-ins to become coaches after they’re done playing. The same holds true in the business world: “Yes, I have arrived after that glorious interview, or maybe my job placement was already secured, for whatever reason.”

The coach’s role(s) The coach is the teacher, but he is also a psychologist; the referee; a hardass if need be; a guidance counselor; a fill-in Dad (never a Mom)—so many different roles. Hell, on a 25-man roster, you’ve got individuals who are poles apart on many things.

Players need a coach who’s in their corner; one who understands the game and what they’re going through, yet is firm, and -- above all -- honest. To a player, a coach either “has it” or he doesn’t. It’s best to know what you’re talking about; almost any player can read right through mediocrity and patchiness, so don’t stumble. Hell, a thirteen-year-old can read through BS.

Your delivery, body language, knowledge of the game, being able to relate to each player on an individual basis – all of those things, and more, are important. 

If you don’t know or don’t have the answer to a player’s question, raise your hand to the crowd and say, “I don’t know – but I will find out.” Believe me, you will come out ahead. And yes, respect is earned. The KISS theory (Keep It Simple, Stupid) comes into play quite often, and you will repeat yourself a lot.

Coaches have to follow organizational guidelines, which vary with each affiliated team. Believe me, you’ll be dealing with adversity (sometimes off-the-charts); you will definitely be tested; you’ll be stepped on from above and below. And eventually you’ll get kicked in the nuts, doubted, given direction, and then get no direction.

Well, guess what? The ball just keeps on rolling. And on some occasions, you may even get the drift of an old smell, and conclude that it’s the scent of a rose. Well, maybe it smells like a rose, but it’s really a musty, jock-smelling locker room that will flare your nostrils. 

Unfortunately, sport in general is set up for us to take a back seat, and possibly fail. Matter of fact, an athlete will have more failure on the field than success.

A little peak from inside my book - What's Up Ramrod