The concept of establishing values and practicing those values has always been central to my education as both a teacher and a coach. As a result, I have spent a great deal of time considering what my values are and how they apply to my practice. Moreover, my coaching career has centered around building programs, both at the grassroots and high performance level. Therefore, the ability to articulate values and achieve buy-in from athletes, colleagues, and other stakeholders has been critical to my success.
Although I am satisfied with my coaching philosophy in its present form, I am aware that philosophy is an evolving set of ideas and I am interested to see how it changes through my time in this program. I will also be interested in seeing if my philosophy shifts as my athletes target a more elite level of performance. I don’t anticipate a change in my core values but I am interested to see if some of the more specific behaviours or leadership styles outlined in my philosophy shift or change based on my coaching context. In terms of a more specific outcome, one of my goals is to position myself as an expert and serve the sport as a leader via coach education and program development. So one way in which I can measure the success of my philosophy will be whether I can model the way for others in responsible and ethical coaching practices that align with their personal values.
The following is a document, which I frequently annotate and update. This is the document from which I draw and adapt pertinent points to use in presentations with athletes, prospective athletes, colleagues, and other stakeholders. It is based on the National Coaching Certification Program template of coaching philosophy as an intersection of purpose, leadership style, and values.
My purpose in coaching is to partner with people to build themselves and their communities into something greater. This is not simply my purpose in coaching, it is my purpose in life. It guides my interactions with the athletes I coach, my students, my colleagues, and the people in my community. My success in achieving this purpose can be measured according to the following three criteria:
Of the athletes that I coach, how many of them did I help to achieve success at the level they targeted for themselves?
Of the athletes and participants that I coach, how many of them continued to be involved in the sport in an Active for Life/Competitive for Life context after their progression was complete?
Of the athletes and participants that I coach, how many of them have taken positive experiences from the sport and used those experiences and skills to achieve success in other areas of life?