Ted Lasso, the fictional coach character from the popular Apple+ program with the same name, maybe struggling to adapt to life across the pond and football (soccer), but his advice for coaching goes beyond any specific sport.
In the series, Ted Lasso, a college American football coach of the Wichita State Shockers, leads the team to a Division II National Collegiate Athletic Association championship. He makes an unusual career jump when he accepts the coaching position of an English Premier League team, AFC Richmond – with no soccer experience whatsoever.
Coach Lasso is not focused on wins. For him, coaching goes beyond a team’s record and focuses on the athlete. His approach often flies in the face of what TV, film, and real-life coaches strive for. Any individual can yell, instill fear, punishment, or any other number of tactics to motivate an athlete and call themself a coach. Coaching, in a sense, should go beyond just a game or a season but set an individual up for long-term success on and off the field.
5 Coaching Tips From Ted Lasso
Below are some key takeaways from Ted Lasso that any coach can use to truly build a young athlete and a team regardless of sport.
Coaching shouldn’t be top-down. A team needs to function as a unit, and communication is vital. A coach should lead by example and be honest with players. Honesty does not mean rudeness. Constructive criticism is important for a young athlete’s development. Athletes and team captains also need to learn how to openly and honestly communicate with each other and the coach. This lesson goes way beyond the playing field and is critical in everyday life.
BE A GOLDFISH
Goldfish are famously known for having a memory that lasts seconds. An athlete can be like the goldfish when they make a mistake. Don’t dwell on it, move forward and live in the present.
Nothing in life is constant. And coach should encourage their athletes to expect, prepare for, and embrace change. A team is never static. Players will come and go, and rivals will become strong or weak. Individuals’ skills and a team’s function evolves. Teach athletes to live in the moment and welcome growth.
A TEAM IS A FAMILY
This concept is nothing new, but following through with it is rare. A coach should not only work with a team to function as a unit in practice, on the field, or in a court, but the concept of family should go beyond the sport. A good coach will encourage teammates to get to know one another. Learn about teammate’s backgrounds, interests, and lives beyond the sport. This can build respect, trust, and commitment.
Believe in yourself, belief in your teammates, and believe in the process. If an athlete has done the hard work, shows up, and is ready to work, there is every reason to believe in success.
“To me, success is not about the wins and losses,” said Coach Lasso. “It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves, on and off the field.”
Image from Apple TV