Dealing With Tough Coaches

Blake Carlson, Staff Writer

Through my journey as a swimmer, I have dealt with some tough coaches. Some so tough, that I would come home from practice in tears. The amount of pressure that these coaches put on me started to get in the way of me progressing and getting better. That’s when I knew that I needed to find a way to deal with the pressure.

For some, a tough coach can bring you down, even make you cry (like what happened to me). But on the other hand, a tough coach makes some feel stronger. The yelling and the energy brought from the coach could encourage the athlete to push through his/her comfort zone.

Tough Coaches Accept Mistakes, NOT Excuses 

Tough coaches know their athletes are going to make mistakes. They know that the athlete will fail from time to time. They understand that mistakes lead to “Lessons Learned,” which leads to improvement. While coaches do accept mistakes, they will not accept excuses for them. 

A tough coach knows the difference between a reason and an excuse. Let’s say a middle school ball player is on his way to baseball and he forgets his gear bag at home. His bag has all the equipment that he will need for practice.

 If Andrew approaches it by saying, “Coach, I forgot my equipment bag at home on the stairs. I should have been more responsible, in remembering my own stuff,” the coach is more likely to accept Andrew’s response and lend him some equipment to borrow. However, if Andrew would have made an excuse, the coach may have reacted differently. Typically a coach gets upset at the excuses, not the mistakes. 

Tough coaches may seem at first to be overwhelming, but they are demanding the best out of you because they know you are capable of things greater than you thought possible.