One of the Most Important Questions for Coaches

My junior high basketball coach, Mr. Weikert, passed away last week from brain cancer. He started the girls basketball team back in the 70’s and taught math. He was an unassuming man who invested his life in teaching young people and coaching both basketball and track.

Since his passing, I’ve thought a lot about those days as a Fighting Knight. And I realized the profound truth of what Maya Angelou once said:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Admittedly, my memory isn’t that great. I don’t remember the drills, any plays or even many personal interactions with Mr. Weikert. But I do remember what it felt like to be part of his team. And yes, I remember those awesome tube socks. 🙂

We practiced hard and learned fundamentals, but he had a way of making it fun. The team that won the last drill of practice would get free orange drinks—you would have thought we were playing for cold, hard cash! Such a silly thing, but all of us remember it.

He believed in us and didn’t see any difference between coaching girls or boys—pretty rare back in those days.

One of the questions Joe Ehrmann asks coaches in his book, InSideOut Coaching, is “What does it feel like to be coached by you?” Think about that, because what it feels like is what your players will remember. The records and scores will fade away, but they will remember how you made them feel.

In light of that, how will you coach today?