Coaching is in my blood. 3 travel baseball teams with 8 and 9 year old players may be a bit much, but it sure is a blast. The parents understand the philosophy of coaching on these teams and they are all working to Make "The Shift" NOW and be prepared for the changes that lie ahead. The shift is very simple and yet so profound. We shift the focus away from "controlling" and more toward the empowering, inspiring and vision-casting role of leadership.
There are many opportunities to do this with the players, but even more so with one of the assistant coaches. He's 13 years old (We'll call him Jason.) and the son of the third coach. He loves baseball and he's very good with the kids. They love him and look up to him. Empowering him and partnering with him in the leadership of the team has been wonderful for me and for his father. He is so excited about any opportunity to learn and grow in this area. He's particularly excited to be asked for his opinion or given a responsibility to use his talents. We're going to be dividing up our 3 teams into 2 teams for some scrimmages in a few weeks. The 3 of us will do a blind draft in order to come up with 2 roughly equal teams. A blind draft means that we don't know who will coach which team so we're all motivated to make both teams equal. I'll coach one team and Jason will coach the other.
This approach is about empowering Jason to become the best version of himself, not controlling him. It's about exchanging frustration for fascination with his developing talents. There's no yelling or scolding, medications or therapy. Empowering and inspiring produces success and that boosts self-esteem. It starts with strengths. There's no longer anything to be anxious about! It really works.