Coaching With Purpose
by Ryan Krzykowski
It happened again just this morning. I was out for a run with a friend who is well acquainted with Community for Coaches. Although he doesn’t coach sports himself, he grew up as an athlete, played in college, and has an appreciation for the work we do. He is often racking his brain, trying to think of people in the coaching/sports world to connect me with.
So today we were out there and he mentioned his college friend who coaches high school basketball at a small town in Western Kansas. While we currently have no plans to take CFC to Western Kansas, I am always interested in connecting with Coaches, no matter where they live. As my friend told me about his friend, he described him as “old-school”, and said he actually might not be the type of Coach we are looking for.
At Community for Coaches, we work hard not to have a “type” of Coach that we seek out. We understand that Coaches come in all different types, with unique perspectives, personalities, core values and experiences. The only type of Coach we probably can’t help much is the Coach who readily admits that he/she comes first and that others are a secondary priority. There are very few Coaches who fall into this category.
On the other hand, there are plenty of Coaches who are like I used to be. We say most of the right things about how kids come first, however the reality is that too often ego, pride or selfishness get in the way. It goes back to my original reason for becoming a Coach. The playing career ended, sports were my whole life, and I needed to be in the game. So I became a Coach. I genuinely cared for the young people I was working with. The problem was I cared about myself just a little bit more. And it’s not like I have this list of damaged kids that I left in my wake. It’s more that because I, myself was my top priority, I missed far too many opportunities to do something meaningful in the lives of others.
I’m still nowhere near perfect, but all this changed significantly when I decided to coach with purpose. I defined the core values that I wanted to help build into young people, and began to more intentionally seek to use the gift of sport and my influence as a Coach/mentor to change their lives forever. The life change isn’t always apparent; it rarely happens quickly. In fact, typically the transformation is difficult to measure or gauge, and takes years to take effect. So what? Just because it is hard to measure doesn’t mean it’s impossible or not worth pursuing. And just because I have to patiently wait to assess the impact we’ve had on someone’s life in the long term, that doesn’t mean I should pursue less important, fleeting, short term results.
I don’t know where you are as a Coach. Maybe you have never been where I was. You got into coaching for selfless reasons and have done it right from the very beginning. Or maybe you’re reading this, and for the first time are beginning to understand that while you’re not a bad person out there damaging kids, you are coaching from a me-first mindset. More likely, you’re somewhere in between. You understand you have great influence. You want to use sports to impact lives in meaningful ways. You might even have a plan, purpose statement and some good ideas as to how to live it all out, and just need a little bit of a boost, some support to help bring it all together.
No matter where you are on this journey, please know that Community for Coaches is here and ready to walk alongside you. We are positioned to serve the coaching community of Metro KC, providing support, training, tools and connections. We lead small group discussions throughout the year, mentor Coaches individually, and also offer training workshops called “Coaching With Purpose”. Over the past five years, we have conducted more than 20 sessions for Coaches at various schools, clubs, colleges, youth leagues, churches and more.
Recently, we made the decision to offer a workshop session on a quarterly basis at our office in Overland Park (7700 Wedd St.), and eagerly invite you to join us on Saturday 7/15 from 8:30-10 AM. If you have been through one of our sessions in the past, this could be a great refresher for you, and also an opportunity to bring a friend/colleague to take it in for the first time.
If you’ve never been with us for a workshop, we make you this promise. If you show up ready to grow in your capacity to use sports and your influence as a Coach to change lives, you will do exactly that. Coaches who commit to Coaching With Purpose, and who are willing to thoughtfully walk this road alongside peers and colleagues, these Coaches are out there making a difference and changing the world.
Please come and join us. Online registration and more information are here.
We look forward to seeing you on July 15th (or October 16th if you are out of town or busy in July).