A Day in the Life

A day in my life. Thoughts on leadership, management, startups, technology, software, concurrent development, etc... Basically the stuff I think about from 10am to 6pm.

2/11/2006

Business: Lead through Volunteering....

NCWHL will be looking for coaches for the Red division for the summer season. If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, know hockey, and are interested in coaching you can contact the league coaching coordinator. A few years ago I wrote an email to encourage people to volunteer and become a coach. Yoshii asked to use the email this year since she is losing all three of her Red coaches. I gave her the go ahead and I’ve included it below.

"I would like to add to Terry’s thoughts about coaching because coaching isn’t just what you can give to others; you get a great deal back. I started coaching in 1986 and I have learned that it is truly something that I love.

Here are some of my reasons why:

1. I get the chance to share something I love with people who want to learn about it. Not only is the audience eager to learn, they actually appreciate the time and effort I put in to help them! Talk about a pat on the back!

2. I get to study people; all different kinds of people, each one approaching the world a little differently. What this helps me do is improve my communication skills. I’m much better today at reading people then I was in 1986! (And it’s not just because I’m 18 years older :-) And I’m also much better at changing the words I am using to reach different types of people.

3. I get to practice my strategic thinking and planning skills as well as my analysis skills on real people in real situations. Yes, I get a whole group of people who let me practice those skills on them! People who want me to practice those skills because they want me to help them win. At the beginning of the season I figure out what core skills my team needs to work on to take them, as a team, to the next level. Each game I watch each player to learn what she needs to work on to take her individual game to the next level. There are always those two major dynamics at work: the team level and the individual level. And it is my responsibility as the coach to balance them so that people learn and have fun. I use the information I gathered to decide what my game strategy will be and what lines I should use to achieve that strategy. And you know there are times in a hockey game when quick, small tweaks can make the difference between a win and a loss. It’s a mental challenge that I find much like chess and I personally enjoy it.

4. Because of the time I have spent coaching I am not afraid to talk to strangers or to groups of people. I’ve found a peace within those public spaces mainly because I’ve put myself out enough to learn that I’m not really in danger or threatened. My heart no longer races and my voice doesn’t crack. I’ve gained a confidence in myself that I find very valuable in my everyday life.

5. I find an incredible amount of joy in seeing a player do something that she didn’t think she could. I personally believe the greatest gift you can give to someone is to help her reach her full potential.

6. Coaching helps me understand the game better because I have to actually look at the game and figure it out so that I can teach and lead others.

7. I have learned to lead and to motivate.

8. This season I was skating in Maroon and coaching in Red and I feel that player-coaches can be a bridge between divisions. Walls have been going up between levels and this season I was able to punch a few holes in. The NCWHL plans for the summer will hopefully do far more to tear down the walls then what I did, but I personally believe that coaches can act as bridges between divisions so that people will be happy about moving up and not dreading it.

In conclusion, I am a better person because I am a coach. I strongly encourage everyone to think about what I’ve written, write me back if you want to talk about it, talk to your family and friends but think about it. NCWHL is giving you an incredible opportunity to grow as a person and to share your passion for hockey. It’s a safe environment to learn in and there are plenty of people that are willing to help you.

Kim Greenlee
Red Coach for the Mole-Whackers
March 2, 2004"


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