It can start as young as little league, develop further in community athletics, rear its ugly head in high school, grow in college athletics, and really exhibit itself in pro athletics… The issue? Whether or not an athlete is “coachable.”
If they’re not, it will show up as arrogance. The athlete knows best – after all, he or she is playing the game – coaches, at best, on the sidelines only have an opinion. Why listen to them. The “uncoachable” do their own thing, regardless of the strategy or play on the sidelines or in the huddle. The mistakes of others are treated with criticism and scorn. When it’s their mistake, it’s always someone else’s fault. They show up late for practice and treat team meetings as “optional gatherings.” When the coach calls these athletes to account and speaks directly to them there is either no eye contact at all, or just angry stares. Fits of rage are common expressions of the “uncoachable.” The tragedy is, they don’t get better – instead they practice their mistakes and they become ingrained in their flawed performance. The place for them until they change… the bench!
It’s entirely different with those who are “coachable!” They don’t pout when the coach speaks to them. They pay attention – they listen attentively. Correction is not taken personally – what the coach says is humbly heeded. Coachable players actually invite and seek out the input of skilled coaches. Plays that are called are viewed as winning strategies to be implemented with precision. Losses are viewed as opportunities to get better, to learn, to improve – but not to throw gear or smash ice chests. These athletes are punctual and participative at practices – team meetings are treated as sacred gatherings. These athletes want to overcome their counterproductive tendencies and exhibit excellence. And when there is a loss, the operative phrase is “no excuses.”
Whether it’s athletics, business, education, performance, a craft, or one’s faith it pays to be “coachable!” I read about it this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” in Proverbs…
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” (19:20)
Being “coachable” – I want it to become a lifestyle, don’t you?