Do You Have the Time?
This is another obvious one, but it’s something you really need to keep in mind. I know a lot of people from all walks of life who make the excuse that “I don’t have time” for a lot of things…not just coaching. I’m sure you do, too. More often than not, the reason isn’t that they don’t have time, it’s that they don’t want to MAKE the time. You know the drill.
That being said, it IS of course vitally important that you’re able to drop what you’re doing for a couple hours a few times a week if you want to coach. And just being able to do that on weekends doesn’t cut it.
For example, as I work from home, I set my own hours. I have things I need to get done just like everyone else beyond my job, three kids, a dog and blah, blah. Cry me a river, right? But I can generally get them done on my terms (not with the kids or the dog, of course, but work-wise).
My wife shares those responsibilities of job, kids and dog, and her job also requires that she be at her place of work from early in the morning until early evening. There’s really no way around it. So, needless to say, she’s not a very good candidate for coaching.
I’ve really never come across a coach for whom time was an issue. As I said, they find a way to make time where others would simply throw up their hands and say it doesn’t exist.
Sure, on rare occasions they’ll have one of their assistants cover for part of a practice or game, or maybe an entire one if they’re traveling for work, but it’s rare. And in our league, where teams generally have a manager and then one or two assistants, there’s always someone to step in.
So don’t feel you’re all alone out there. In most cases, you won’t be. I don’t know how your league is run or how plentiful parent volunteers are, but it’s not uncommon where I’m from to see two or even three parents helping the coaches out. You’ll be surprised. Many parents really want to get involved and help. But for any one of a variety of reasons, they don’t want to become “officially” in charge of having to be there for every single get-together.
Ask around. I’m sure you’ll find that a number of parents will be eager to help out.
Real Story from The Trenches
We have coaches in our league with varying levels of dedication to their careers. Some are professionals, some are shift workers, some are work-at-home business owners like me. They essentially just schedule things that are under their control — like practices — for when they know they’ll be available.
For things outside of their control — like games, which are going to be dictated by the league — they either find ways to cover it or work with assistants who can cover for them when they’re not around.
In our draft, after players are selected, teams then choose the name of their team along with practice days and times when the fields are supposed to be reserved for them. This avoids scheduling conflicts so not every team is showing up at the same time on the first warm, sunny day of the season. (Of course two teams showing up at the same time may not always be a bad thing. Did someone say SCRIMMAGE?)
My assistant wasn’t available on Wednesdays last year, so we chose a different day. Simple as that. I don’t know how your league runs things, but that system works for us. Might want to suggest it.