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Purpose: 4 Reasons Why I Love to Coach

I have been a coach for over 20 years. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I often comment that I am lucky because my passion is my profession.  I get paid to do what I love, and not many people can say that.  Coaching is who I am and what I do.  However, coaching never quits. People ask me if I am enjoying my time off, and the reality of my job is that there is no time off. There is always something to be done to prepare for the next group. Coaching is a 365 day job.  So why do we do it? I got started, like many others, because I was not ready to let go of a sport to which I dedicated much of my life through college. I couldn’t play any longer, but I wanted to stay a part of the game. The second stage (if I’m truly honest with myself) came from ego. I wanted to win games and be successful. It was a lot about me. The team was a vehicle for my success. As we mature, we begin to think about our place in all of this. What is my purpose? Why do I do what I do, and what am I all about? Everyone needs purpose.  Here are a four reasons why I love to coach teams.

The Challenge

Every year is a new year. No team is the same, and we only have 1 shot with that team. Although many of the pieces remain from year to year, we don’t get the same exact group. We will never face the same exact challenges. With the right perspective, we can find that drive to find success because when the season ends, we start all over again. Each season is a challenge to see how far we can push, pull, and finesse a group of people to achieve goals and reach heights beyond their expectation.

The Grind

I embrace the grind of the season. Make no mistake, coaching, if done the right way is hard work. It is tedious work. Coaching is not just an hour or two each week at practice and then some games. There are countless hours of preparation and planning that take place, but without the work, would it be worth it? I sit here now in the off-season, and I am well into the planning for next year. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t work on something to prepare for the upcoming year. If we are not preparing, we are not setting ourself or our team up for success. The grind is where coaches can do their best work. If we don’t embrace the grind, can we expect it from our players?

The Players

Without the players, what is the point. They are the ones who get me excited to go to work every day. Teaching them, pushing them beyond their limits, watching them develop and figure things out. It never gets old. Every one of them is different, and that is what makes this profession fascinating. Let’s talk reality. If you are not in it for the players, you are in it for the wrong reasons.

The Relationships

Helping young people navigate the physical, emotional and social challenges they face outside the sport. I relish the fact that I can have an impact on the success of my players inside and outside of the rink. Getting to know each of my guys over their careers is the best part of the job. There is not much more gratifying for a coach than to get a text, an email or a visit from an ex-player. Not to be forgotten, but the late nights and the hard work spent with the other coaches.  Without them, it would be a lonely road.  I have been fortunate to coach with some of my best friends, or did they become my best friends through coaching? I’m sure it is a little of both.

In the end, I have come to realize that I love being a part of a team. The locker room, the friendships, the obstacles, the work, the joys, the disappointments. Not to be forgotten, but the late nights and the hard work spent with the other coaches.  Without them, it would be a lonely road.  Going through the ups and downs and going through them together is what this is all about. Every season has it’s obstacles, and learning how to climb past those obstacles is one of the great rewards of coaching. Some seasons are met with tremendous success, and others fall short of expectations. Every year I learn something new about my craft and myself. These moments are all part of the journey towards success, and it’s the journey that is the reward.

Use the comment section to provide feedback and tell me the reasons why you coach.

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  1. Coach, another great article. Just wanted to say I have been reading everything on this website and it has been very enjoyable. I have learned a few things along the way as well! A lot of my coaching style came from a lot of things you did, most notably the practice plan along the wall. I remember how eager I was to see it daily and I see that same excitement in my players. It also sort of subconsciously let your players know that you are prepared as their coach–i know i always appreciated that playing for you. Hope is all is well. I will be in Buffalo this summer, hope to catch up.

    1. Thanks Matt. I should have included putting the practice plan on the wall in my post on Running Effective Practices. I always did that so that guys would become familiar with drills. My hope was that players would be more focused and efficient on the ice. I still do it and I have every practice I have run still on a hard drive. I refer back all of the time when I get stuck for ideas.

      Thanks for reading. If you have any ideas let me know.

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About Coach Printz

Jamie Printz has been a full time teacher/coach for over 20 years. Although the majority of his time is dedicated to ice hockey, he also coaches lacrosse and soccer. Coach Printz has had the pleasure of watching over 200 of his athletes move on to play collegiate sports. He works as a skills coach for local youth organizations, works in coaching education and player development at the state level, and is a parent of two young daughters who are beginning their journeys in the world of youth sport.
The 365 Coach © 2015
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