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Thanks coach- You make a difference!

By Richard Cheetham

Among the many things I have learnt in coaching is the 'thanks coach' from a player, team or parent arrives in many forms. For me it has been an unexpected signed team photo from the players on tour, a Facebook post, tweet, cold beer, handshake and a reference in an article. The ‘thanks’ can also be when you least expect it. It is not always after a coaching practice, a long season, a winning performance or when a player moves on to bigger and better things.

From my experience often the reasons why the 'thanks coach' is received is because it is the right time for the individual and that in a moment of reflection they recalled something I did that made a real difference. These recollections have arisen as they have pursued careers, coaching roles or continued to compete and the thanks sometimes extend to thank you because of a particular incident or even words of encouragement. An example was in preparation for someone’s first marathon. The task to go from novice runner to marathon runner was daunting for them so I used the ‘eat the elephant’ analogy. If you were asked to eat an elephant the sheer scale of the task would defeat many before even attempting the challenge. I had said if you approach it piece by piece – the trunk, the legs, the tail then eventually you will have eaten it all. Training and completing a marathon is the same, break the race down into sections and it becomes psychologically more manageable. A Facebook post with photo of the runner, medal and the words “thanks coach I just finished my lunch” followed six months later.

The beauty of coaching is just to know how much that resonated with those who took the time to say and show their gratitude.

So don’t be surprised at how it comes out and when it comes just accept it, treasure it and think 'I made a difference'.


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