“Think like a head coach, but act like an assistant coach” – Tommy Amaker Head Coach of Harvard University.
That quote says a lot! A good assistant must always have at the forethought of their mind: they must do everything they can to help the head coach be successful. Plain and simple the more successful the head coach, the more opportunities the assistants will have to advance in their careers.
Here are ten things that an assistant can do to help ensure the head coach is successful:
1. A good assistant develops a relationship with the head coach that is built on the following:
– Mutual Respect,
– A mutual desire to build a successful program.
2. A good assistant must be a Great Communicator with the:
– Administration of the school
– Athletic administration
– Support staff
– Entire coaching staff
– Admissions office
3. A good assistant must help to establish “Buy in” and promote the culture/philosophy of the Head Coach:
– This must be accomplished in written form (writing), verbal form (spoken words) and non-verbal forms (actions) both internally and externally in the program.
– The direction and the pace of the advancement of the program must be articulated by the head coach to the assistants clearly on a regular basis.
4. A good assistant must make the head coach look good at every opportunity including but not limited to in front of the:
– Coaching peers
5. A good assistant must be a BUCKET FILLER”:
– Exhibit positive energy giver
– Explain what the head coach saying
– Have a positive attitude
– Never have a bad day
6. A good assistant must know their craft/profession (Continuously getting better):
– Know the rules of the governing body for your profession.
– Be on top of the trends in the profession
– Ability to manage the following relationships: Head Coach-Assistant Coach, Assistant Coach-players
7. A good assistant must limit the distractions that the Head Coach has to deal with by having relationships with the necessary people on campus:
– Academic support team
– Training staff
– Campus security
– Housing department
8. A good assistant helps to promote the brand, create brand awareness and brand identity:
– Acting professionally
– Dressing professionally
– Being visible in the community
– Being a spokesman for the when asked to speak publically
– Properly using Social Media.
9. A good assistant must have a tremendous work ethic:
– Exhibit an attitude of “No job is too big or too small”:
– Be willing to do whatever to help get the job done
– Understand that there are only beginning hours never ending hours.
– Do whatever it takes ethically to make the head coach and the program a success.
10. A good assistant must be consistently unified with the head coach:
– No “YES MEN”. Have an opinion. Be able to articulate your opinion and recognize that you offer suggestions, but the head coach makes decisions.
– You can disagree in private but you MUST ALWAYS agree in public with the head coach.
– Assistants make suggestions and the Head Coach makes decisions.
The quality of the staff is a direct reflection of the head coach and their leadership/management style. Synergy amongst the staff is so important. The top level programs understand that, they embrace that and they live that. That is way they are successful.