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Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Self-doubt of the coach

April 12 seems to be the magic date that we are looking forward to getting back out onto the pitch and coaching in groups of 15.
 
For some coaches, including myself, it will be the first time taking a new team and coaching new players in a different environment. 
 
It can be an exciting time, but it can also be a time for self-doubt. You may be asking yourself questions like: will I remember what to do? Will the players and other coaching staff respond well to me? Am I good enough?
 
These are questions that I’m sure every coach has asked themselves or thought of throughout their coaching career.
 
I’ve asked myself these questions a few times and the higher you go up the coaching ladder the more these questions start to creep into your mind.
 
Most of the time it comes down to the fear of rejection, not being accepted or liked. Some coaches will say that they don’t care if my players like them as long as we win. For me, coaching is about relationships and knowing that players trust, respect and accept you as part of their group or tribe.
 
Being accepted as part of a tribe in our ancestral days was literally a life-or-death situation. 
 
If you weren’t accepted or expelled from the tribe you were left to fend for yourself, alone in the wild with no support.
 
As coaches sometimes we can feel like that, but, thankfully, it’s not life or death. Maybe you feel you don’t have the right connections with the players or maybe it’s just your own thoughts that are holding you back. The majority of the time that’s just it – your thoughts are getting in the way of what you are good at. 
 
If this sounds like you, don’t worry! We are all human and can change our way of thinking and acting to get the results we want.
 
Here are a few things to consider as coach:
 
Be yourself 
You either got into coaching or climbed the ladder by being yourself, so don’t step away from it. Being yourself and sticking to your principles is something you can always hold on to. If it doesn’t fit with the environment you are in, then you can slightly adapt or maybe it’s just not for you?
 
Adapt, don’t change 
You can adapt to your environment without changing too much. Every situation you find yourself in will be different and it’s up to you to adapt just the right amount that still means sticking with your principles and keeping the players on your side. 
 
You are good enough 
You are in your role for a reason, you are good enough and you care about what you do. Keep that the main focus of your mind. 
 
The only opinion that matters is the one you have of yourself
You can’t control what other people think. It is only the opinion you have of yourself that counts, so make it a positive one. 
 
Players have the same feelings, support them 
Players also have feelings of self-doubt. Rather than wasting negative energy thinking about how they feel about you, turn that into positive energy to help support and guide your players on anyway you can. 
 
Final thought, we are all human, we can all have negative thoughts, it’s how we respond to these thoughts that will help us develop and grow.

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