Watching "Lincoln" is a microcosm of many positive coaching qualities:
- The ability to get "buy in" from those who may not agree with you
- The vision to see the bigger picture in the future instead of the smaller one in front of you
- The trait of humility
- The quality of not panicking when things aren't going your way
Flagstaff High School took a 41-0 record into their State Final match against Arcadia November 6th for the Division IV. The Flagstaff Eagles and their coach, Beth Haglin lost the first two sets 23-25, 24-26 and trailed 8-18 in the third set. As you watch the match though, what you never see from Haglin is panic which clearly translates to her team who chip away point by point, making big plays at key times. The Eagles would go on to win the third set 25-23, the fourth by the same score and secure the State Championship 15-10 in the fifth set.
Arizona State is headed to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006 with three freshman in the starting lineup. They started the season 13-3 but the campaign seemingly ran aground when the Devils lost 7 of their next 8 matches. A drought like that can cause coaches to adjust, change line ups, rethink everything they are doing. Coach Jason Watson and his staff stayed his course and the team responded by winning 6 of their last 9 PAC-12 matches including sweeping #6 ranked USC, topping #5 ranked Washington and beating the University of Arizona in their final regular season match despite losing the first set 13-25.
It takes courage to trust your players, your system and work through the rough spots without panicking. At the club level, your players, your parents and even club personnel can get anxious with an 0-3 tournament or a rough go at a qualifier. These are the moments as a coach you look at your coaching philosophy and decide to continue to follow it or abandon it for the quick fix. At the collegiate level, with jobs and careers at stake, it's an even harder decision.
With the 13th amendment to abolish slavery and the conclusion of the Civil War crashing in on him at the same time, "Lincoln" portrays one of our countries greatest leaders showing his commitment to his principles, his ability to sway others his way and a knack of doing it while staying out of the limelight and giving credit to others. With never a hint of panic, Lincoln works through the problems and in the end, secures the future of a healing nation.
It's a coaching lesson for us all.
Speaking of Coaching lessons, the Arizona Region has secured 10 FREE USAV Online IMPACT classes. If you have read this blog and either YOU or someone you know wants one of the 10 free classes, send an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before December 7th. Instructions will be e mailed to you on how to get this $50 value free. This is on a first come, first serve basis.