“When I played, I would never do that.”

“No one ever had to tell me to do that when I was playing.”

“The one thing I did was play hard every day. I don’t understand guys who don’t do that.”

It’s a coaching go-to, to talk about how certain players just don’t get it. They are hard to understand, because you go back to when you were playing and you say “I wouldn’t do that.” Or “I never said that.” It’s indirectly comforting to find a way to say the kids are just different, and they don’t understand.

And it’s likely true. If you are a coach, you never would have done it that way. You weren’t lazy, you didn’t take plays off. But that’s why you are a coach. The majority of the players you are coaching, don’t get it like you do. They don’t have the same approach, they don’t bring the same mentality every day.

For most players, that mentality isn’t natural. The hope is that a lot of them will learn it over time. And that is your job as a coach. But it’s so simple to take the easy way out. To think “they just don’t get it, and I can’t understand it because I would never do that.”

So try and fight that trap as a coach. Understanding who you are coaching and what they are about is essential. Every player is coming from a different background and has a different capacity to learn and improve. Find the best way to work with it, and get the best out of them.

They won’t have the same mentality you had when you played. Your approach is different. That’s why you are a coach.

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