All successful coaches have to have strong leadership qualities. If you feel uncomfortable in a leadership position then don’t go into the coaching profession. It is also important that coaches realize that they are in a position of influence. Players hear every word you say and closely watch your actions and behavior on the sideline or practice field.
In my 32 years of college coaching, there are two quotes attributed to Billy Graham concerning leadership and influence that help shape my coaching philosophy.
His quote on Leadership was, “The moral meltdown in the United States comes from a lack of leadership. It would be tragic to divorce character from leadership.” If you are going to assume a position of leadership, then it is important that you have integrity, high standards and morals. The other statement attributed to Billy Graham dealt with influence. “A coach will influence more people in a year than most people will in a lifetime.”
As a coach, you must remember that your athletes are listening to every word you say. For football coaches this is really important because of the breakdown of the traditional family. College football coaches deal with a large number of male athletes, many of which were raised with no father figure in the home. Psychologist say the most influential parent is the same sex parent. So as a coach, your ability and opportunity to influence is magnified.
I don’t know how much of an influence I had on my players…does a coach ever really know? But if my ability to lead and influence my players had a positive effect, I would like to thank Billy Graham.
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