Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, and Bill Bellicheck are each known for their massively successful track record of coaching football the past century. While each of these coaches had a multitude of unique coaching traits that made them successful, there is one key characteristic that stands out with each of these individuals. That key characteristic is known as candor.
What is candor? Candor is defined as the quality of being open, honest, and straightforward in speech or expression. It’s best illustrated by being frank in one’s communication, not withholding or sugarcoating information, and speaking truthfully even when the truth may be uncomfortable or difficult to convey. This is often associated with transparency and a willingness to share one’s thoughts, opinions, and feedback openly and honestly with others.
Just about every coach has the long-term goal of leaving a legacy that is marked by excellence and integrity. To accomplish such a goal, they must learn to wield honesty and kindness in appropriate manners. So you might ask, how is candor going to be most effectively applied in my coaching endeavors? Let’s look at three accompanying characteristics that enable you to practice candor this coming season.
- Be approachable – Young developing athletes who are passionate about their sport will flock to leaders that they experience are most approachable. Being approachable is the gateway to building trust and speaking truth into an individual’s development.
- Be generous with your attention and time – Nothing will gain the respect more from young athletes than being generous with your time and attention. Investing in an athlete’s life and caring to take concern for their passion for the game as well as their own story will open the door to candor.
At the end of the day, displaying honesty and truth as a coach to an athlete is fundamental to help them grow, change, and develop. Without bold honesty delivered in an appropriate manner, athletes and teams will fail to grow and be guided well. Building trust and respect so that you may speak honesty and truth that influences positive change in an athletes life is key to being an impactful coach year after year.