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So do you think you can coach?

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“There are two kinds of coaches: those who have been fired and those who will be.”

My own personal advice on coaching is if you don’t enjoy the profession and aren’t able to handle both the rewards and challenges, then you will not last very long.

I previously detailed a good bit what coaching can entail. The responsibilities and tasks vary some degree depending on whether it is a head coach, assistant coach, high school/college/professionals, etc…    The average sports fan already has a good understanding of the general responsibilities of a coach such as holding practices, recruiting, working with staff members on game plans and what not.

Many articles have been written about how the Nick Sabans and Urban Meyers of the world make upwards of $3 million a year, how over 100,000 people watch the Vols play in Neyland Stadium and several million people watching on TV or maybe watching some video on YouTube as the coach has a nervous breakdown or has a temper tantrum that will be talked about for days or weeks on end by the radio shows, TV stations, blogs, etc…We enjoy watching head coaches and team owners in the NFL hoisting the Lombardi trophy at the end of the Super Bowl.  But even winning a Super Bowl is no guarantee of job security. Just ask Tom Landry or Jimmy Johnson.

If that wasn’t bad enough, you might have strangers calling your home at all hours of the day and night, pictures of you and your wife being posted online while you were out shopping or people (stalkers?) will wonder what school your kids go to.  Needless to say, coaching is not all glamourous fun and games that it often portrayed to be.

Coaches don’t have much time (or should not have much time) to spend twittering, browsing Craigslist, facebooking, etc… Coaching is literally a 80-100 an hour week kind of job. Then there is the spouse and kids.  I don’t have any statistics on what the divorce rate is among coaches, but I am certain there are enough incidents of martial difficulties arising from the crazy schedules that coaches have especially if there are young children involved.

There is a very practical reason why most coaches retire by the time they are in their 60’s. Health problems are frequent.  Moving is frequent.  The average career for an assistant coach is around 25 years, and if they ever become a head coach at some point, it is somewhere around 5-10 years.

The pay despite what you often read or hear about is not as big as one is inclined to believe. Stipends for high school coaches is generally a few thousand dollars, college coaches generally make in the range of $50,000 to low six figure salary if they have been in the profession long enough and happen to be in the right place at the right time, a bit more for NFL coaches and you are dealing with players who are making more than you.

Coaches especially at the high school and college level are not only dealing with the players and coaching staff, but parents, trainers, videographers, athletic directors, boosters, donors, a player is upset because he broke up with his girlfriend, politicians wanting endorsements, etc… They are quite literally a CEO. Coaching is actually more about managing and organizing than it is about drawing up diagrams and formations.  So the more responsibilities a head coach can delegate to his or her assistants and the greater the head coach’s ability at hiring competent people is to assist in this line of work, the better he will be.

So if you are interested in getting into coaching because you thought the money was great, the hours were great and that it is all fun and games, you are seeking to get into this profession for the wrong reasons. Many people say they can coach better than the guy or gal who is currently doing it. But those same people aren’t willing to devote the time and effort that the profession requires and often at a big cost to one’s health, marriage, and reputation. With that in mind, I can’t say I blame them.

Written by chrisforliberty

August 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Posted in General

One Response

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  1. […] I had previously detailed the joyful and not so joyful realities in today’s coaching world. […]


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