Going Beneath the Surface — The Why Behind the “Why?”

by Ryan Krzykowski

Early in 2012 I came up with this:

I coach to help young people develop a love for sports and for others that will steer them toward becoming someone who will change the world for good. 

In the years since, the experiences I’ve had as a coach, and more importantly the experiences that players and their families have had as a part of our teams, have gone from “very good” to “even better”.  Having the Coaching With Purpose Statement has made a world of difference for me as I navigate the daily work of teaching children of various ages how to play sports together.

Just a few days ago, I was talking with CFC staff member Alec Lemmon, and we got into a deep conversation about that simple, and yet critically important question of “Why?”  We ask coaches all the time, “Why do you coach?”  The idea of creating and successfully living out a Coaching With Purpose Statement is right at the heart of everything that Community for Coaches is about (as evidenced by the 1K Challenge we have issued to the coaches of Metro KC).

As Alec and I dug into that question, we hit on something significant.  There are multiple layers to “Why?”  At the surface, knowing why we coach is incredibly helpful as we seek to define and achieve success in our roles.  And yet, beneath that surface level, there is a deeper question  — Why is my “Why?” my “Why?”

I know for me, as a young child I absolutely fell in love with sports, made them a huge part of my life, and want to help young people have the type of experience that can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment and shared experiences/memories with important people in their lives.  That’s why “a love for sports” is in my Coaching With Purpose Statement.  At the same time, as a selfish human being, despite the fact that I was participating in team sports, nearly every thought I had during workouts, practices and games was about me.  I gave very little thought to my teammates, how they were feeling or doing, and what I might do to make them better.  It was all about me.  Later, as a young coach, I had the opportunity to work with men who made it a point to help kids see beyond themselves.  That spoke to me and inspired me, and as a result “love for others” also became a part of my Coaching With Purpose Statement.

Thinking about the past five years, having the purpose statement has been huge, and although I hadn’t necessarily realized it, having stories and experiences that help me understand where that purpose statement came from in the first place has made it even more meaningful and useful.  So coaches, here’s your three step takeaway:

  1. Think about the experiences you’ve had in sports, both playing and coaching.  What was positive in your story that needs to be perpetuated?  What was negative that needs to be eradicated?
  2. Define your purpose – create your Coaching With Purpose Statement.
  3. Submit it at the CFC 1K Challenge page.

Thanks and keep coaching with purpose!