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Assist to Success: The Winning Habits and Traits of Collegiate Assistant Coaches

For the 5th year, I've been assigned mentees through the AVCA Match Point Pairing Program. The program connects experienced coaches with newer coaches to help develop skills, networking opportunities, and knowledge sharing. In today's post, I'll share the habits and character traits that the best collegiate assistant coaches often possess. These qualities not only contribute to their success but also have a positive impact on the team and its overall performance.

Ten Habits that the best collegiate assistant coaches practice:

1. Showing up early: They arrive before the head coach to prepare for the day's activities and ensure everything is in order.

2. Efficient time management: They prioritize tasks, create schedules, and effectively manage their time to maximize productivity.

3. Attention to detail: They pay close attention to the smallest details, whether it's game preparation, scouting reports, or player development.

4. Continuous learning: They have a growth mindset and constantly seek opportunities to learn and improve their coaching skills.

5. Building strong relationships: They establish trust and open lines of communication with players, staff, and other stakeholders to foster a positive team environment.

6. Adaptability: They are flexible and able to adjust their coaching strategies based on the team's and individual players' needs.

7. Self-reflection: They regularly evaluate their coaching performance, seeking feedback and identifying areas for improvement.

8. Networking: They actively engage with other coaches, attend conferences, and build connections within the coaching community to exchange ideas and stay updated on industry trends.

9. Attention to player development: They invest time and effort in players' individual growth and development, providing guidance and support both on and off the court.

10. Strong work ethic: They demonstrate dedication, discipline, and a willingness to go the extra mile to help the team succeed.

Ten Character traits that the best collegiate assistant coaches possess:

1. Honesty and integrity: They uphold high ethical standards, are truthful in their interactions, and act with integrity both on and off the court.

2. Professionalism: They maintain a professional demeanor, treating players, staff, and others with respect and dignity. They stand in unison with the Head Coach to players, though they may use different verbiage. Consistency is crucial.

3. Drug and alcohol-free lifestyle: They prioritize a healthy lifestyle and refrain from using drugs or alcohol, setting a positive example for their players.

4. Commitment to education: They emphasize the importance of education and encourage players to prioritize their academic pursuits alongside their athletic goals.

5. Boundaries with players: They establish appropriate personal boundaries with players, maintaining a professional relationship while providing guidance and support (this includes social media).

6. Leadership: They exhibit strong leadership qualities, inspiring and motivating players to reach their full potential.

7. Empathy and compassion: They show empathy towards players, understanding their needs and challenges and providing support when needed.

8. Accountability: They take responsibility for their actions and decisions, holding themselves accountable for their coaching performance and the team's success.

9. Positive role models: They serve as positive role models for their players, demonstrating good sportsmanship, resilience, and a strong work ethic.

10. Lifelong learners: They thirst for knowledge and continuously seek opportunities to learn and grow as coaches and individuals.

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