Gary Kirsten appeals to coaches to coach for the right reasons

2018 Powerade Performance Academy

The 2018 Powerade Performance Academy celebrates everyday coaches and will focus on giving credit to everyday ‘ordinary’ coaches who have done extraordinary things by refining the young talent that eventually goes on to perform on the world stage.

Recently, Powerade Performance Academy at NMMU saw former Protea’s coach, Gary Kirsten, appealing to school coaches about coaching for the right reasons. The reasons he mentioned were to include seeking to develop players as people that believe in the team’s culture, purpose, focusing on the players and not on solely winning games.

Kirsten appealed to coaches who were present on the day to coach their players in a similar way they would like to be coached. Kirsten recognises that there is a huge pressure in schools for the teams to perform and win. Nevertheless, coaches must first grow the individual and only when the individual has shown tremendous growth, the coaches can eventually begin to look at winning which would in turn boost the team’s morale. “Winning is the result of all the hard work, determination and patience coaches have for their players and that is a recipe for a successful team,” he said.

Sharing his thoughts on leadership Kirsten believes the coach is responsible for the shared sense of purpose and culture. Each player in the team needs to change something they do, so they can get a different result. A team needs a common goal that everyone understands and is aligned to the team’s core objectives. It is important to note that the team goals always come before personal goals and this is one of the non-negotiables to be instilled in a team.”

Kirsten strongly convicted in equipping the players to think for themselves on the field, in preparing a team to adapt to a complex unpredictable environment instead of following a plan. Coaches are often criticised, and need to be able to take constructive criticism from the correct channels.

To be a successful leader or a coach one needs to understand that he/she has direct input in the player’s lives, which can help them set up common goals that are aligned to the core team values.

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