You may not be a soccer coach… but you are a coach – So, make a difference

You may not be a soccer coach… but you are a coach – So, make a difference



When I was a younger father, I coached all 3 of my kids in soccer. I played soccer when I was young, and loved it, so this seemed like a natural thing to do. I was a pretty good coach. I taught the kids a lot (I think)…and made the game fun for them. Each team won a fair amount of games. But I was a young, immature coach. I was a bit too focused on wins. While I had great intentions, and did right by the kids, I was a bit too focused on the scoreboard and what people thought of me as a coach.

I grew over time, and when my older daughter moved from recreational soccer, to club soccer… I moved up and coached at that level as well. It was at this time that 2 supervisors, who became mentors, came into my life. It was this time, that I really began to improve as a coach. At different times, Kevin and Corey taught me patience, taught me to focus on development rather than the scoreboard, and they taught me something else. They taught me how one word, one smile, one high-5 could change a kid’s experience. I knew this already, but more on the surface than in an in-depth nature. Kevin and Corey helped me focus on how this could keep a kid in the game…and how this can help them feel like they are included…and thus more enjoy what they were doing.


Coaches improve the lives of their players

Over time, through both actions and words, both Kevin and Corey showed me a deep commitment to improve lives and make a difference for people. It reminded me, that as a coach and a parent, every time I stepped on the field or sat down at the dinner table, I had an opportunity to improve a life, or positively impact a situation.

My kids are much older now. The youngest graduates high school this year. BUT…even at my “advanced” age…I am still learning! I am still improving! I will always be a lifelong learner. I will always be a lifelong “improver”!


If you have staff, then you are a coach too

As a manager…as a supervisor…as an owner…you can do the same thing. Having employees work for you, is not only having them serve you and your customers, but it is an opportunity for you to positively impact lives. You are their coach. Are you someone they can turn to? Are you someone they trust? Are you someone that helps them stay in the game, improve and become more productive?

Many years ago, soccer icon, Mia Hamm wanted to be the best female soccer player that ever stepped foot on “the pitch”! She was not pro yet. She was a student at the University of North Carolina. On the way to work one day, her legendary coach, Anson Dorrance, saw Mia training by herself. It was 6am! Not another sole was in sight. Coach Dorrance could have just proceeded to work, and admired his star soccer player for her fire! BUT, he decided to do something else. He took out a pen and paper, sat down at this desk and took the time to write Mia Hamm the following note: “The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching!”


How can you improve as a coach?

Consider this, as we move closer to a new year. How can you improve as a coach? At one level or another, a coach…you are! And coaches wield life altering power. Will you crush dreams? Or will you empower people and change lives?

One minute, one comment, one word, one note, one hug, one extra ounce of support can be earth shatteringly powerful! Taking one small amount of time from your busy life to say something, notice something, write a note can make a huge difference! Not only can this improve lives…but it will reward you with improved, more productive employees who desire to do a better job for you!



Spencer Rubin is a sales/marketing expert and a passionate advocate for the success of small, local business owners. To sign up for Spencer’s weekly Catalyst Newsletter, contact 971-732-4745.

“Don’t give up, don’t EVER give up” ~Coach Jim Valvano