An unknown quantity: Assistant Coaches Often Overlooked
For the most part, these individuals are highly dedicated and relentless workers. Some are well-paid, some are part-time, some are graduate assistants and still others are strictly volunteers. However, their contributions to their programs are invaluable to both their head coaches and players. Why is this still an issue? Honestly, it has been since 1492. We have been taught that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue to discover America. However, there were three ships, the Santa María, Pinta and Nina. All of them touched American soil, but Columbus must have been the head coach. After all, he received all the recognition, but somebody had to sail the other two ships; namely, Martín Alonso Pinzón and Vicente Añes Pinzón. Ever heard of them? No, me either. They must have been the assistant coaches for the voyage.
Sadly, these assistant coaches go unrecognized by a lot of people, but not from their head coaches and certainly not from their players. If you look at almost all of the teams that were successful in post-season play, the work of the assistant coaches was a major factor. No doubt, these assistants invest many hours breaking down film, scouting, coaching, and at the college level, recruiting. Their unwavering commitment to our game, assisting their head coaches and developing players are examples of their passion.
Great assistant coaches are "All-In" when it comes to every aspect of their program. They should be problem solvers and take things off the head coach’s plate. Great assistants are high energy, highly organized and mission driven people. They are students of the game, eager to learn and get better. Great assistants take pride in the little things and take pride in the quality of their work from doing laundry to passing in pre-game warmups. At the college level, they must have a niche for recruiting in order to make themselves valuable to the program. Great assistants are trustworthy, reliable and just as invested in developing strong relationships within the program as the head coach. They understand and do not care about the many, long hours they will work, they are not counting the hours down. They understand it is not a nine to five job; they just work until it gets it done. Great Assistants are always enthusiastic, upbeat, and positive. They create energy for the team! Most importantly, great assistants serve the program in every way.
So if you have the opportunity, please do not let the assistant coaches go unnoticed! Recognize them, thank them and most importantly appreciate them. For they are just as important, and in most cases, they are the future of our coaching profession.