Burnout in coaching is a common thing. And it’s understandable. You put in HOURS of your time for pennies on the dollar (or for free) to plan, instruct, and learn.
Not to mention you have to be a teacher, counselor, therapist, mind-reader, parent-advisor, AND a coach.
And add to that the fact that many head coaches have that “entrepreneurial” mindset where you have two ideas per minute that you want to do in order to make your team/program better.
Remember that energy that seemed endless when you first started out? Well, sometimes the losing streaks, upset parents, late nights/weekends, and “tough to coach” players can collectively take that energy and stomp on it like a grown man stepping on a cockroach.
If you haven’t ever been there as a coach, don’t you worry. If you do this long enough it’s probably coming!
So what can a person do to help defend against coaching burnout? Well, a number of things can help...but today I want to give you just one tool to put in your toolbox.
And that is recognizing the power of delegation. DON’T try to do it all yourself!!
I know that nobody can do it like you. I get it.
But you have to trust others to help you build your program, regardless of the sport that you coach. If you don’t, before you know it you will become a money collector, game scheduler, fundraiser, practice planner, and on and on...and then lastly a coach.
Think of your team/program like a business. You want to be able to work on your business (program), not in your business (program). Imagine, for example, that instead of spending time collecting fees you could do some video analysis of your players. Or maybe learn about some new offensive plays to try and use in the upcoming season.
So what are those tasks that you can easily delegate?
Can you hand off game scheduling to an assistant coach? Perhaps ordering supplies, uniforms, etc. could go to someone else? Fee collection? Does EVERY email to parents need to come from you?
What about practice planning? Can you give certain parts of planning to an assistant coach? Perhaps you could with some guidance and training!
Figure out what you are best at and enjoy doing, and then have a goal to gradually remove yourself from the other things that chew up your time (and energy).
This might take time and be a gradual process. And it will look different for everyone. But the payoff will be worth it. You will spend more time on the things you enjoy and hopefully have more energy for your team.
And hopefully this will be one step towards avoiding the dreaded coaching burnout!