Why Can't We All Just Get Along?
Have you ever played for a coach that doesn't like you? I'm betting that most of you (especially since you clicked on this article) are saying yes. The truth is that if you play sports long enough, you're very likely to run into a coach that doesn't like you for one reason or another.
The other day I heard a student tell one of his friends that his coach hates him. It got me thinking about the issue a little bit because I realized that this kid didn't have a choice when it came to playing for this guy or not. The coach that "hated" him was the varsity baseball coach at the school he was going to, so if he was going to play baseball he had to play for a coach that "hated" him.
It's important to realize that a coach might not like you, but that's different than them being a "bad" coach. So let's take a look at some steps to take to deal with a less than ideal relationship with a coach.
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Dealing With A Coach That Doesn't Like You
Step #1: Identify the problem. This one can be tough, but you need to find out why you think this coach doesn't like you. Sit down and really think about what is going on and see if you can identify what it is, very specifically, that is causing the issues. Here are some possibilities:
- Problems with a teacher
Sometimes we just don't get along with a coach for the same reasons we wouldn't get along with anybody else, we just don't like their personality. If this is the case, identify it as the reason.
Other times we don't like the way the coach teaches, or more specific aspects of the way he runs a program. If we disagree with what he's coaching, it can cause us to be resistant to it or have a bad attitude toward him when he's giving us advice. This is tough and it needs to be identified as a source of problems.
We can't go to the next step of making this thing better until we know exactly what is bothering us, or bothering the coach.
If you absolutely cannot figure out why a coach doesn't like you, there are three things you can do:
1: Consider that he may indeed NOT have a problem with you but your own perception might be wrong;
2: Try harder to find the reason, you have to be very honest sometimes to find the real source;
3: Ask somebody! Ask an assistant coach, member of the faculty, other players, and you can obviously ask the coach himself if possible.
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It Might Actually Be Your Fault
Step #2: Identify your part in it.
I know that you feel like it's all the coach's fault, but often times there's a reason why he "doesn't like" you or you guys aren't getting along. Be honest with yourself and determine what part in that you played.
Did you not hustle in practice? Were you complaining about drills? Have your parents been a pain for the coach? Have you been stubborn about making a change that the coach has recommended? Did you get in trouble at school? There are a ton of reasons why a coach can have a bad image of you, fair or not.
Often times a coach will have very limited interaction with players and so their impression of you can be formed by a small handful of experiences. This is especially true if you've never been on his team before, like if you're a younger player headed toward varsity for example.
If your coach is a teacher at the school, he talks to all of your teachers and is probably friends with several of them. Something as simple as goofing around in class or slacking on your work can get back to your coach and cause his impression of you to suffer.
Sometimes a player doesn't even realize that something they did has caused the coach to have a problem with them. That's why this step is so important, and why it's critical that you're honest.
Know the Problem, Now Fix It
Step #3: Make a change.
Now that you know the problem and what you're doing to make it worse, change it. Even though a coach may have a poor impression of you now, that doesn't mean at all that it can't change. Start making an improvement on your end today, and commit yourself to showing the coach that his impression of you is wrong and you deserve to be treated well.
If the issue is just that you don't like the way the coach behaves or you don't like his coaching style, then the change has got to come from within your own mind. The game your playing is much bigger than one coach.
It can become consuming to us if somebody doesn't like us, but you need to release yourself from this burden and focus more on the game. We play sports because we love them and because they're fun, and you need to remember that all the time.
Set your mind on the game, and on improving yourself in every way possible on the field. Focus intensely on that process and in the fact that you're getting better at something you love to do. The coach can only affect you if you let him.
Make the changes that you need to make to get it right, and then get on with excelling at the sport. Work your butt off and do it with the best attitude possible every single day. If you're truly doing those things and your coach still doesn't like you, then regard him as another distraction and continue your dedication to your process.
You can't ignore your coach, but you can prioritize the things that are important to you. Take his instruction with a nod and get on with it. Being a better player is what's important to you, don't let anything, or anybody, get in your way.