Alexis at Coaches Corner posted a piece on the subject of performance relative to expectations. The somewhat tongue-in-cheek idea is the best way to go is to do slightly better than expected. The bottom line observation he made was “….the best thing to do is to lower expectations and exceed them.”
Of course that’s easier said than done. Certain coaches seem to be masters of it. I remember Lou Holtz always talking down his team’s prospects when he led Notre Dame football. It’s kind of a funny thing because especially these days in at least American sports there is the feeling that we should be bolstering our athlete’s confidence, not deflating it with hedging type language in the public arena. That, though, is potentially where conflict can arise between what’s good for the team and what’s good for the coach. After all, if the team doesn’t perform to expectations then it’s the coach who will most likely suffer the career consequences.
Coincidentally, part of what I had Mark Lebedew talk about in his Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview was handling external expectations in pro coaching. I’m sure it’s not much different from other levels in that regard. This clip from that interview is what he had to say.
Of course you will have your own internal expectations as well. I wrote about those previously from a season and tournament perspective. The best seasons are the ones when you actually beat your own expectations. 🙂
6 Steps to Better Practices - Free Guide
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter today and get this free guide to making your practices the best, along with loads more coaching tips and information.