All of us have a shadow or a dark side to our strengths.
In athletes, I see two patterns of gold and shadows (These are very general):
1. The young person who is a team player, a hard worker, and conscientious of others, and a coach’s dream. The shadow can be a lack of confidence and a killer instinct and might not rise to the occasion when the game is on the line.
2. This young person is a fierce competitor, tough, ultra-confident, and rises to the occasion when they are most needed. The shadow is they are tough to manage and lead, can be prickly with teammates, and can cause occasional issues on the team.
There are only a handful of people that possess both of the strengths mentioned above. These are the outliers. The once every 3-5 year type athlete.
It’s why they call you coach
As a coach/leader, it is your job to manage, lead, and possibly help transform their shadow into gold. Too often coaches gripe and complain about the athletes THEY recruited.
I love the coach who takes ownership of each different type of young person in their program and instead of complaining that they aren’t tough enough or coachable, they coach ‘em up!
This is your job. Don’t complain and tear down. The next time you feel like complaining about what an athlete doesn’t have, help them get it or put them in the right spot to allow what they do have to shine!
Average coaches complain about what their athletes don’t have, elite coaches develop the areas their athletes don’t have.