Responsibilities pile up for high school coaches in 2020-21
So, you want to be a head high school coach?
Before you do that, let’s talk about the jobs (plural for a reason) you must familiarize yourself with so that you can fulfil all of the obligations thrust upon you.
First and foremost, you have to be very astute in the field of adolescent psychology, specifically in the areas of motivation, communication and discipline. Dealing with a pre-teen/teenage human being comes with a number of, shall we say, challenges.
There is not a day that goes by that kids in general, much less teenage kids, do not have some type of problem, drama or situation that must be dealt with. And most of the time you, as a coach, are the person tagged with the responsibility of dealing with those issues.
Getting kids of any age to self-motivate is a challenge on its own. But, instilling the discipline needed to allow a person to get themselves moving in the right direction is an all out time consuming job, particularly persons that think they are adults already.
Better get your counseling degree!
Secondly, to be a high school coach means to be the greatest strategist/game planner in the world. No less than perfection will do. (At least that is what the fans expect)
It does not matter if half of your team cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, if you are not winning, something must be wrong. If you are doing X, one part of the stadium “experts” believe that you should be doing Y and the other part believes you should be doing Z.
Next, a great coach has to be an amazing salesman. If you want your program to succeed financially, you must come up with innovative ways to raise money.
Once you raise that money, you must be an extraordinary banker and security guard. You better make sure you know which account that money goes in and by all means do not lose the money collected from the players and the parents.
Diplomacy is a skill that must be mastered if one expects to be a high-level coach. Making sure that players, parents, administration, and the coaching staff are all on the same page takes a ton of compromise and a touch of delicate statesmanship.
Ok, you have all of those skills in your bag?
Now, we are going to throw a little more at you.
“What? What do you mean more?,” you say.
Well there is this little thing called COVID-19. If you haven’t heard it is going to make you get training in medical triage, become an expert in sanitizing infected surfaces and gain a complete understanding of how to modify behavior.
See, you now have to take temperatures of players and then decide if they may be contagious. You are also going to be responsible for making sure that every surface touched is virus free.
And, you know those habits that human beings have of touching their face, sneezing and coughing into the air and not washing their hands thoroughly, you are going to have to try and train anywhere from 15-100 teenagers what is proper and safe when it comes to not spreading germs.
Oh, by the way, you are definitely going to have to learn innovation. See, your players can’t gather in larger groups anymore. You are just going to have to find a way to practice in small groups.
Also, if your sport is an outside sport, in the middle of the hottest part of the year, you must find new and original ways for players to get water on an individual basis. No more sharing water bottles!!
That may mean buying bottled water in truckloads. That’s okay, remember you are a fund-raising expert.
I almost forgot the most important thing, you have to be able to an expert on some type of high school subject matter. Remember, you are a classroom teacher first. Education, regardless of the protocols put in place during a pandemic, comes before anything else.
Good luck!! Maybe, just maybe, you will get to play your season.