I was asked the other day if coaches have favorites. As much as I wanted to tell them no, my gut reaction was to tell them yes. Because I know in my many years of coaching high school athletics, I certainly had favorites.
So what makes you the coaches favorite? First I can tell you what it's not. It's not being the "coaches pet". Good coaches can see through your kiss up pretty quickly, and it annoys us and actually has the opposite affect.
It's also not your skill level. A players athletic ability can only get them so far, and some of the best natural athletes I knew were my absolute least favorite to coach.
So what does make you a coaches favorite?
1. You are committed. To the sport, to your team, to your goals. You may have minor set backs, but when you fail you are not knocked out, just knocked down.
2. You are respectful. To your coach, your teammates, your opponents and officials, the fans. You don't have to agree with them, but you do have to be kind.
3. You hustle. All the time, without being asked. You sprint on and off the field. You carry equipment without being asked.
4. You are responsible. You don't have to be babysat or micro managed at practice or games. You take accountability for your choices and actions and you do what you know is right.
5. You are coachable. You can be instructed and receive feedback without being offended. You are constantly looking for ways to improve and know that others have knowledge to offer you.
6. You can handle failure. You understand that when you fail you are only knocked down, not knocked out. You quickly bounce back from the failure, evaluating what can be done differently next time to get a different result. You understand that failure is not a person, it's an event.
7. You don't complain. No excuses, no justifications, no whining. Just a determination to work hard and do whatever is asked of you..
8. You are a team player. You understand that sometimes what is best for the team may not seem like what is best for you. And that's ok. You may sit the bench because another player's strengths are needed in a circumstance and you'll cheer your heart out on the sidelines.
9. You play to win, instead of playing not to lose. There is never a moment when you give less than your best. You are always pushing your physical and mental limits and expanding your comfort zone by facing your fears, regardless of your opponents skill level.
10. You have integrity. You are the same player on and off the field. You can be trusted and counted on. You don't gossip, taunt, or lie to or about others.
You see, the reality is, we do have favorites. And you will get to play more. Not because you kissed up to us. But because you earned it!