Idealised Influence – The best way I reflect this with the kids I coach (club and college) is by emulating behaviors and habits that I want my athletes practicing on a regular basis. I think this refers back to what Chapter 2 reminds us of treating our athletes in the manner we want to be treated. We are ultimately our athletes’ best role models in some circumstances.
Intellectual Stimulation – This, to me, is allowing the athletes a say in part of the leadership and decision-making in the program. It’s not giving the team 100% say, but it’s giving athletes the say on certain things that will allow them an opportunity to feel heard. For example, I may allow my college athletes some say regarding whether we train early or late, theme that goes on a t-shirt, or what we eat after matches. I don’t want my athletes to have say as far as who should (or should not) play or any other items that would manufacture drama by being a ‘player-coach’.
Inspirational Motivation – Having athletes follow your lead as a coach is the first challenge you accept. Getting athletes that are hungry to improve is what makes the journey priceless. Kids today have information at the click of a button and typically need to have answers at a moment’s notice. Being able to explain the “why’s” demonstrates that you as a coach are establishing yourself with your players by building necessary relationships and furthering your team’s culture in the same process.
Individual Consideration – Family comes first. In those three simple words, that is the best way to sum up what this style is for me as a coach. It is our job as coaches to meet our athletes how and where they come to us on a daily basis. No athlete should be treated the same as another, but it is responsible of us to respectfully treat all of our athletes regardless of who s/he is ultimately. I always let my athletes know that you can’t be a great student-athlete until you can manage yourself as a person. Once you learn to manage yourself as a person, the opportunities for you to lead and compete are indescribable.