Legacy is a word that gets thrown around fairly frequently these days. Too often, the word surfaces after someone passes away or retires from a long career. It would seem, however, that if it is what you are going to be remembered for, you would want to give it some thought at the beginning of your career.
A coach’s legacy goes far beyond wins and losses and encom- passes the collective impact that coach has on those they are in a position to influence. This impact can range from profound on the positive end of the spectrum all the way to harmful on the negative end.
A coach with a clear vision of who they are, what they stand for, and why they coach usually has a firm grasp on what they want their legacy to be.
Do you know what you want your coaching legacy to be?
The fact is you will leave a legacy when you stop coaching. Don’t wait until it’s too late to decide what you want kind of legacy you want to leave. These 3 sets of 3 questions will get you thinking about how you coach, lead and relate to those around you. There may be varying degrees to your answers:
1st Set of 3 – How you Coach
- Do you focus on the outcome of games or the process of development?
- Do you coach the way you were coached or have you found your own style?
- Do you prefer finding new ways to teach the game or finding new drills and plays to run?
2nd Set of 3 – How you Lead
- Do you give your players a voice or lead without discussion?
- Do you lead by building players up with positive energy or by demanding perfection and attacking their mistakes?
- Do those who play and coach under you have the ability to lead others effectively?
3rd Set of 3 – How you Relate
- Would you say your current players love you or fear you?
- Do you follow your players’ lives outside of basketball?
- How often do you hear from your former players?
This self-reflection will help you assess what kind of legacy you are on the road to leaving. You should be able to answer these questions honestly and thoroughly and determine how they fit the vision of what you want your legacy to be.
If you want to test how well you are currently doing, have your coaching staff and players answer the questions about you anonymously and reflect on their answers.
Coaches have the ability to make a difference in the lives of those they coach as much as any profession that exists. The difference you make will be significant and permanent and will all depend on what you choose to put into it. Few professions allow you to have an impact on the lives of people who need you as much as ours does, and that goes for any coach, anywhere.