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Becoming a 'Player's Coach' in the Workplace

As the excitement of March Madness envelops us and the dawn of baseball season approaches (not to mention the upcoming outdoor track and field season), I found myself pondering what it truly means to be a 'player's coach'. If you have ever been involved in sports, either as a player or a spectator, chances are you've come across this term before. It's a phrase that reflects the deep admiration and respect players have for a coach who truly understands and supports them. The kind of coach that players want to give their all for, the kind they would follow through thick and thin. Reflecting on this, I couldn't help but think back to the coaches in my own life who embodied this ideal.

Growing up, sports played a pivotal role in my life, from high school through college. One coach who stands out to me as the epitome of a 'player's coach' is Coach Burns. As a shot put and discus thrower, I had the privilege of being under his guidance during my time in college. Despite only coaching me for a single season, Coach Burns made a lasting impact. His passion for the sport was palpable, as he actively participated in training alongside us, sharing his expertise and encouragement. Under his mentorship, my skills sharpened, and my confidence grew to new heights. I credit him with helping me develop from a walk-on athlete to a full scholarship athlete. His tenacious support and dedication exemplified what it means to be a true 'player's coach'.  

In the realm of leadership, we can draw valuable lessons from the concept of a 'player's coach' and apply them to our organizational roles. Here are some key strategies to embody the ethos of a 'Player's Coach' within our workplaces:

1. Cultivate Meaningful Relationships:

Demonstrate a genuine interest in the success and well-being of your team members.

2. Hands-On Engagement:

Be actively present in meetings and day-to-day operations to provide guidance and support.

3. Share Personal Experiences:

Connect with your team by sharing your own journey and insights into the work.

4. Balancing Support and Constructive Criticism:

Be a source of encouragement while also offering constructive feedback for growth.

5. Lead with Passion:

Inspire and motivate your team through your own enthusiasm and dedication to the work.


~A big “Thank You” to all of the coaches who have helped to shape the person and leader I am today.

I’d love to hear what you think!  Tell us about your coaches, who has inspired and supported you??

~ Chuck

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