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What It Means To Be Coachable And How It Will Help You Win

Darren Abate / Stringer

This week I attended my sister’s club volleyball practice. At this practice, the coach emphasized both talking and effort. All volleyball players can be proficient at these skills, despite size and athletic ability. Although they seem easy enough, these skills are overlooked by young athletes. This is because they must choose to do them. This is tough, because change is hard. Athletes are consistently asked to modify their behavior on the court to improve. But, whether an athlete is skilled at a sport or not, he or she must choose to listen to and follow through with the coach’s instructions to improve.  

For example, choosing to communicate is very important. When I was a junior in high school, my club soccer team was losing three to zero at half time. My coach was upset at the lack of communication we had and demanded we improve it in the second half. It was amazing how the game changed after we started talking. For instance, we passed the ball more accurately, and as a result had more possession of the ball. This in turn gave us more chances to shoot on goal, and potentially score. Due to our increased communication, my team ended up winning this game four goals to three.  

When I was a senior in high school, my club volleyball team was playing in a regular season tournament. We were losing the first set of the match twenty-four points to sixteen, in a game to twenty-five points. Although we sided out the next point, our team had little hope of winning the game. Since the score was 24-17, it seemed impossible to come back. However, we scored one, two, and then three points in a row. We followed our coach’s instruction to serve specific areas of the court and run certain plays on offense. In addition, with each point scored, our team started talking more. We ended up scoring 9 straight points to win that game.

Choosing to act on the instruction of a coach is difficult, but worthwhile. It may not always result in immediate improvement or winning a competition, however, in the long run a player will improve and increase his or her chances of success in competition. Regardless of whether an athlete is skilled at sports, an athlete must choose to listen to and follow through with the coach’s instructions in order to improve.

This type of behavior is applicable not only in sports, but also in life. In the job setting, an employee must choose to listen to his or her employer. Doing what a boss says does not guarantee promotion or remove the possibility of being fired, but instead it reinforces the role the employee has in helping the company to function properly. As in sports, each employee is proficient at different skills, but they can all choose to communicate and work hard for the success of the company.