If you are under pressure as a coach everything is more difficult to manage. The smallest thing might trigger you, you make rash decisions and things often go from bad to worse. You should allow yourself some time to sit back and find a new approach.
Dealing with the pressure of coaching at any level is daunting. It is not fun and the higher up you move in the ranks the more the pressure piles up. The sooner you find coping mechanisms to help you manage under pressure, the better.
Finding the real reason why you are under pressure
There are two types of pressure. The pressure that comes from the outside and the pressure you put yourself under. Both of them will cloud your judgment and you will not be able to perform at your peak.
We always talk about players and getting them to perform at their peak, but coaches have to also be at their peak. This is in mental awareness and focus so they can act like the general strategically navigating his troops through battle
Worry is something that you pile on yourself and I have yet to see any positive outcomes from worry. If you worry more, the solution doesn’t come faster. It is however difficult to see this if you are in the thick of things.
The best ways to deal with pressure are:
- Take a step back – When you are in the center of it, you will not be able to see the wood for the trees. You will have preconceived ideas about what the problems are and how to deal with them. Many of the challenges will also look impossible to conquer
- Identify the problems – Start by just writing them down. Write as much as you can about the problem or problems regardless of how much it is
- Identify the root cause – Sometimes there is one key underlying problem that is causing everything else. If you are able to identify the root cause, you will know where to start fixing it. There might be more than one root cause if there are multiple problems. You should always focus on the root cause rather than the problems at a top-level. Otherwise, you are only treating the symptoms
- Prioritize the problems and then work on the solutions – Which one of the root causes has the biggest influence? Which ones are easiest to address? It is very important to know that if you start addressing the root causes and find solutions to them, the pressure will lift and things will turn around
It is often difficult to find a solution when there are people shouting from every angle. Fans, parents, schools and clubs all want results. To get to the solution of the majority of your problems, whether it be problems or results not going your way, lies in how well you plan.
Getting onto a field for practice and games are amazing and the celebrations afterward are not to bad either. If you want to make sure that there are more smiles for you, the players and everyone else involved, it comes down to planning.
Planning practice sessions, your game plan, making arrangements for game days, logistics and everything else that happens off the field is the key to ensuring that the pressure on the field gets a whole lot less.