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Dec. 7, 2021

Bridging the Educational Gap in Coaching Ethics and Coach Health and Well-Being

Bridging the Educational Gap in Coaching Ethics and Coach Health and Well-Being

#18. Coaches in this country are held in high regard due to their wisdom and, hopefully, life-long impact upon the athletes they work with. Parents entrust coaches to not only impart sport-specific training upon their children, but also to be ancillaries to the foundation that has been established at home. Now think about this: According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, 90% of coaches have received no formal training.

Being a coach myself and knowing the vital role we play in the formative years of young people, this is very alarming to me.  Being a parent of two young athletes who I know hang on every word of their coaches, this is even more alarming to me. We would never bring kids to a doctor who didn’t attend medical school nor would we throw our children into a classroom with a teacher who lacks certification but is teaching because he or she was a student themselves at some point.  So, why is this happening in sports?

There are many layers to peel back on that complex issue, so that is why I reached out to Dr. Tim Baghurst, who is a Professor of Education at Florida State University and the Director of FSU COACH. Dr. Baghurst recognized this dangerous gap in athletics and has created a unique program to provide professional development for coaches of all sports at all levels.

If you agree with it or not, athletics have a prominent role in shaping lives in this country. Work ethic, collaborative learning, critical thinking are just some of the life skills learned on the playing fields; more importantly, coaching, if done correctly, is transformational, building strong and confident men and women. 

Resources:

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Transcript

Luke:

This is episode 18 of The "I" in Win podcast

Tim:

Depends how you define success. But I would, my core is to place athletes before everything else. The care well being of athletes is, is paramount in our program

Luke:

Coaches in this country are held in high regard due to their wisdom and hopefully lifelong impact upon the athletes they work with. Parents entrust coaches to not only a part sport specific training upon their children. But also to be ancillaries to the foundation that has been established at home. Now think about this. According to the National Alliance of Youth Sports, 90% of coaches have received no formal training. Being a coach myself and knowing the vital role we play in the formative of years of young people. This is very alarming to me. Being a parent of two young athletes who hang on every word of their coaches. This is even more alarming to me. We would never bring our kids to a doctor who didn't attend medical school. Nor would we throw our kids into a classroom with a teacher who lacks certification but was only teaching because he or she went to school themselves. So why is this happening in sports? There are many layers to peel back on that complex issue. So that is why I reached out to Dr. Tim Baghurst, who is a professor of education at Florida State University and the director of FSU coach. Dr. Baghurst recognized this dangerous gap in athletics has created a unique program, provide professional development for coaches of all sports at all levels. If you agree with it or not, athletics have a prominent role in shaping lives in this country. Work ethic, collaborative learning, critical thinking are just some of the life skills learn on the playing fields. But more importantly, coaching. If done correctly is transformational building strong and confident men and women. Enjoy the episode Welcome to another episode of The "I" in Win today we have on Dr. Tim Baghurst is a professor of education and a director of FSU coach interdisciplinary center for athletic coaching at Florida state university. He earned his doctorate in kinesiology from the university of Arkansas and has four additional degrees achieved in three different countries. Thanks for being on Dr. Baghurst.

Tim:

My pleasure.

Luke:

I first heard you on other podcasts Beyond the Bench. And after listening to it, I'm like we need to get Dr. Baghurst signed cause you're a perfect fit for what this podcast is about, which is leadership and coaching and the idea of impacting lives so let's start with the mission of FSU coach and the science behind the program at Florida state university. Can you tell me a little bit about it?

Tim:

Yeah, FSU coach is a relatively new thing. It's about two years old. It is a sick. Uh, an interdisciplinary center for athletic coaching, which doesn't really exist anywhere else in the U.S., the purpose of, of FSU coaches to really not just provide academic programming and education for coaches, which we do online, but also to be a resource where we expand beyond just the students in our programs to support sports organizations to support coaches, to support sports professionals, external to FSU in our program with best practices, research, really however we can help.

Luke:

And at its core, what is the vital piece that you want your coaches to come out of the program understanding is the key to being successful in the profession of coaching?

Tim:

Depends how you define success. But I would, my core is to place athletes before everything else. The care well being of athletes is, is paramount in our program. And even in our masters, we have 10 classes. Four of those 10 classes are really dedicated to helping the coach support the athlete as a person. Um, in sports performance. Sure. Yeah. W we, we include that that's vital, but also how do you make sure that that athlete is cared for, is supported in the best way possible to get the outcomes you want, which are wins obviously, but also ensure that that athlete 20 years from, from that from now actually wants to re-engage with you and have that conversation with you as opposed to a man that was a terrible time. I never want to hear or see that coach.

Luke:

And why is it so important for coaches to receive formal education? Because let's be honest, a lot, really.

Tim:

Yeah a lot. Don't that's, that's very true. Think about it like this. If I'm an individual who goes to a dentist, I put my trust in that dentist. I put my trust in the qualifications they have in the training that they have to ensure that when I go there, I get the right treatment that I need for the problem that I have. Well, that dentist has to go away and train a lot and continue training to ensure that they're up to date with modern science, with modern equipment, with water medicine, so that my, my teeth are taken care of. Well, how is coaching any different to a profession like a dentist or any profession? Really? Where we make the assumption that when we put our kids in the care of a coach, when we put ourselves in the care of a coach, we want to make sure that they are qualified, that they're trained, they're up to date with current knowledge, and it allows us to have the best experience, the most successful experience. If we don't do that. What happens is the coach relies on their previous experiences, their previous knowledge, what they learned as an athlete, what they observed their coaches do. And we see a cycle of this is how we've always done it. Well, times change, we learn more. We improve in how we can coach and how we can be more successful. We understand more about the human body and how we can work with people. And if we don't apply that knowledge to our coaching, we are not up to. We are not credentialed. And as a consequence, we may be putting our athletes at risk.

Luke:

So knowing the benefits to both coaches and the athletes, they coach of formal education. Why do the majority of coaches not get this type of training? Is it cost? Is it just lack of knowledge of the importance of it? What is the consequence behind it or the reason.

Tim:

It's a really good question. And I don't necessarily say I have a complete answer to this cost is a huge inhibitor. Most coaches are not paid at the level that allows them to go and invest heavily in education. Let's go back to the dentist example, if you want to be a dentist, you know that when you become a dentist, there is an opportunity for a long-term career where you're going to make significant amounts of. And so you invest that time and you invest that money upfront for a long-term reward. Most coaches don't have that. Most of us who coach me included, do not walk away with massive paychecks from sports organizations or athletes for the coaching. We do the vast majority are volunteers or have a small stipend. So if you're giving me as, as, as a school coach, if you're giving me. Um, $2,500 a year to, to do all this work as a coach. And then you want me to spend $500 of that a year on my continuing education. I don't know that I want to do that. That's a significant chunk of my income. And so if the organization doesn't support it, then chances are the coaches looking at that going well, what's the bare minimum I have to do to maintain my certification because. I'm not getting a hundred thousand dollars a year to do this. If I was, maybe I would put that $500 in or more, and this is where we see cost being prohibitive. We also see some of it is just a lack of professionalism in coaching, where many coaches are coaches, because they are a warm body. They're asked to fill a position. They may not. Actually want to do it as a passion. It is your parent, oh, you played soccer. You can coach this under eight team. That parent may not want to do it. Why would the parent go and invest finances in continuing education and coaching? When really they're, they're just doing it because their kids in the program. So we see some of that too, where the coaches just do not have the internal drive, the internal motivation to kind of really extend themselves and become better and better and better at what they do through through education. And this isn't necessarily their fault. It's just not what they want to. Now I flip that and say, well, if you really do want to be a coach and you really do want to be a successful coach, then you should be saying, you know what, I'm going to invest in that, that master's degree or that undergrad degree or that professional, uh, education through that sports organization, because this is my career. And if I'm willing to do it as a dentist, I'm just going to stick with dentists. Why not? If I'm going to do it as a dentist where it's, these are the things I need to know and learn why shouldn't I do the same in coaching. And so the whole profession of coaching is so big and so broad that it's very hard to fit everybody into that same expectation of what you need to go get coaching. And if you don't, you can't coach, we wouldn't have a lot of sports in this country. If we had that.

Luke:

So are you seeing schools let's use high schools as the example, are you seeing more. behind programs like yours and fronting the bill and training their coaches and investigator coaches, or is it again just the individual has to be motivated and figure out for themselves if they want to take this next step in education and professional development.

Tim:

No, I was, I was a school teacher. Okay. And, and I was a physical education professor before I, I moved into coaching. There is not much money in schools. Most schools hurt financially year after year. And so to ask 20 coaches. To, you know, to spend $500 on 20 coaches, you're looking all of a sudden at $10,000 of professional development money and that's conservative, right? A lot of programs cost much more than that. And there are a lot more coaches than 20. And in a lot of these schools. Financially, it's very hard to ask sports organizations, athletic programs to do that unless they have a system in place to support that long-term. The answers. Now, most of the people in our programs, almost all the people in our programs, it is funded by them who say, I want to be better. And we have students who are volunteer coaches doing graduate certificate or a master's degree. We also have high school coaches, college coaches, and professional coaches taking our programs. But it's, it's usually when you read their applications. There's nothing in there about the school supporting me or the sports organization, supporting me and paying my, my tuition. It is about them wanting to be as good as they can be. And those are the students we want. Right. We don't want the students who, well, our school says we have to go get professional development. So as a consequence, here we are, what do we have to do to get our streets? That's not the student I want, I want the student who comes in and ask questions. Who challenges, who says, well, I read this, what do you think about this? Usually those are the students who are willing to put up the money on their end to get better. And I love teaching those students.

Luke:

Yeah. And I think every coach listening would say those are the athletes they love to those intrinsically motivated athletes are the best ones to work with. Right. Um two important terms, transactional versus transformational coaching. Can you differentiate those two terms for audience members that may not be familiar? Yeah.

Tim:

Yeah. I don't know exactly who first coined this, uh, Joe Erman, the football player who went on to become a kind of a speaker. Um, really wrote a lot about this in his book and off the top of my head. I can't give it to you. Uh, Google. I know it's on my

Luke:

Season of life, season of life, season of life. I think it is.

Tim:

Um, the idea behind this is asking the why in terms of your coaching, why do you coach, and there's there's two different pathways to this. And I would argue that there's a third in the middle. But the transformational coach is looking at how do they transform their athlete into something more than they are, and that can be physically, it can be mentally, it can be spiritually, you name it, but your goal is to, to help the athlete in any way you can. The transactional coach. Well, let me go back to transformational. The transformational coach gets their reward by seeing that athlete grow. The trans transactional coach is one who looks at the athlete as a means to an end, you do this. And we have a transaction where I get something in return. Or if you don't do this, then there's a transaction where I do this to you. And it is really a, a business model. Have you do something for me and I give you something back and it could be praise. It could be, I choose you for the team. It could be a scholarship, whatever, but there is a very clear transaction there. We, we tend to throw transactional coaches under the, under the bus, so to speak and just that should never happen. But we also live in a very capitalist world where transactions occur all the time. And so for me as a coach to completely be transformational means that my transactional side may. Make cost me or my lack of transactional side. Say, for example, you're my athlete and you do everything I ask of you and you're a wonderful human being. And I see you intrinsically motivated, uh, working hard. And so because of that, I give you the scholarship, but you're not talented or not as talented as, you know, play or be over here who is super talented, but I deny them the transaction or the scholarship, because perhaps you have the wrong attitude or you're a little arrogant or you don't work as hard or for whatever reason. Well, that player B may be the player who achieve success on the field or court. And I need them on my team, but I've, I've given my scholarship to player. Because of the transaction, the transformational changes I've seen in them. And there are wonderful human being. We, we have to balance transformational and transactional. We have to have some transaction within our coaching, but I would argue that the coaches who truly want to be successful, have to put the athlete above everything else above winning, make some of those hard decisions, but do so in a way that is respectful and kind rather than well, athlete B over here is a superstar. You're not, they get the scholarship. You don't work harder. And this is it's, it's how you do it. And so, you know, the transformational should be, I want those athletes to walk away from my program better than they came in across all of the different domains, not just physical, not just athletic talent, but across all of those domains in a way that I have built them up to be better than they were when they came in my. If I am purely transactional, that's unlikely to happen.

Luke:

In my opinion. I think if you ask any coach, they would all say, well, I'm transformational. And I do believe. I do believe that that's their intent. I think they enter profession because that's what they want to do. Coaches decide to coach because they want to impact people improve lives and make a difference in someone's lives. However, sometimes they end up falling. I hate to use the word victim, but falling victim to that transactional side. Why does that transactional side sometimes just take over the transformational side in coaches.

Tim:

Pressure. If you had an athletic director walk in and say, I don't care what your winning record is this season. You're an amazing coach. Just keep doing your thing. And if you have a losing season every year, that's okay, because that's not what it's about. You'd probably be a transformational coach quite a lot, because you're free to do that, but that's not how we are evaluated as coaches we're evaluated on the success or failure. Of our athletes. That's a transaction and it is very difficult for coaches who want to be transformational place themselves in a position where the world evaluates them as transactional and not think about some of those transactional things. It's natural. The key, I think for most coaches is to have that coaching philosophy. And I'm not talking about strategic philosophy or tactical philosophy. I'm talking about who they are and what they want to achieve as coaches stick to it. And remember what it is as the years passed. Because that line will change over time. And if your philosophy, which can change with it, but if your philosophy is, is relatively stable and you know what that philosophy is, it helps to mitigate some of those decisions where you may break that line. You know, if, if you have a philosophy of athlete before everything, let's just say, that's one of your phrases athlete before everything. And you know it, and you preach it to your athletes. They know your philosophy, it's on your wall. You talk about it. And then that athlete is in the game and gets hurt, but you really need them in the game to finish the game and get that win because it's a big moment. And the athletic trainers saying, I'm not sure. If that philosophy is in, in your head of athlete first, maybe then you make the decision to keep that athlete out. But if that's not part of, of your daily coaching, maybe you have rationalize it or maybe you let it slow. That's where I think coaches tend to over time kind of drift away from who they are, because they don't remind themselves who they are. They don't have the athletes reminding them of who they are. And it's not a visible, this is who I am. Call me out. If you don't see.

Luke:

Completely agreed. A lot of that goes back to the pressure that you referenced earlier. And I think a lot of the pressure let's be honest, comes from parents and there's a narrative amongst coaches that and teachers for that matter, that parents today, There, you know, the helicopter parent and they're overbearing they're over-involved and they're not allowing teachers and coaches to do their thing and interest at these teachers and coaches are able to do their thing. Is that narrative correct? I mean, is parenting different today and if so, why, why are athletes parents different today? What's the root behind it? Is there any evidence to.

Tim:

Every generation will have a different set of parents. Right? We change as society we're changing. We are not the same as we were in 2000. We're not the same as we were in 1980 and so on. So do parents change? Sure. But what doesn't change parents want the best for their kids. Parents are looking out for their kids. Do we see that, that kind of helicopter parenting? Yeah, we do. Do we see it all the time? No. Do we see other types of parents? Yeah, I, uh, one I've I've heard more recently was the bulldozer parent forget, hovering over and watching. Let me just clear the path for them. Let me just take care of everything for them. We see some of that too. of coaches may, may perceive parents is as almost the enemy of affecting my ability to do my job well, because they're always taking shots at me to some extent. Yeah. You're going to have parents do that. Parents are always looking out for their kids and we'll try to help sometimes when they don't need to be helped or shouldn't be helped. My suggestion. And we're talking schools here by, by your question. My suggestion is, is always have that parent meeting at the beginning of the season, and also have a parent contract make clear as coaches what your expectations are for parents, because if they don't know, then they're there. They have the freedom to do what they think is best. When that best may not be best for that athlete or your program. If you don't make clear at the beginning, this is, this is how I coach. This is what I'm trying to achieve this year. This is how I do team selections. This is how I run practices. This is how you can be involved. This is where I ask you, not be involved. You do all that upfront. It makes it. Helpful because as parents, me being a parent as well, I want to know what the coach is doing or how they're doing it or how I can be involved or maybe how I should keep my mouth shut. Make that Claire. Then when the parents aren't doing that, you have something to show them as opposed to halfway through the season. You've got to deal with a parent because they're coming to practice and voicing their pain. Excuse me, Mr. Mrs. So-and-so here's, you know, here's something you, we talked about back at the beginning of the season, and you know, you, you sign that, you wouldn't do this and you're doing it now. And you have to recognize that you agreed to this at the beginning and you not doing this is affecting our team in a negative way or your athlete in a negative way. Call them out on that, as opposed to you get halfway through the season. And you've got a Meyer to, to Wade through because you didn't make expectations clear at the beginning.

Luke:

Yeah. I always held, held those meetings at the beginning of the year. I believe communication is vital to the relationship between parent and coach, which is a complicated relationship. And, um, I'll be honest with you, Dr. Baghurst, no matter what I said, no matter how clear I was, I did have contracts signed by parents as well. Oddly enough, if I reflect back on the years, the parents who seem to like me the best their kid was the starter or played significantly. And the parents who route at the local pub bashing me after the Friday night game. Well, oddly enough, their kid didn't play a lot. And, um, it it's complicated. It really is because. Your job as a coach is to look holistically and you're in charge of not of 75 kids in my varsity football team. I have to think about all 75 of them. I have to think of the whole program. I have to think to that transactional piece that we've already discussed. The parent has one lens. They think they don't, they think they care about the team, but they really have one lens. And it's that one kid who comes home and he, or she is upset because they put in all this time that works so hard, but they're just not. The playing time. So it is a very complicated relationship and one that I don't know. Do you have any answers to that?

Tim:

No, it is human nature. What if your, your kids were in a dance program or an acting class or something, or a theater where they're not getting the major role? How is that any different? It's it is parents. Their kids to be successful and not everybody is going to have the starting role or the primary position or whatever. You could throw this out and say, this is, this is human nature in jobs. The one person who gets the promotion and the three that don't why didn't we were going to go to the water cooler and complain about it. And our boss this is, this is a, microcosm of many things that go on and in our daily lives, where in coaching is just a little more evident because you see who's playing and who's sitting

Luke:

well, speaking to that pressure piece, and I've heard you talk about this as well. There's a shortage of coaches in this country, and I think it's going to, in my opinion, only get worse. Why are you seeing so many coaches leave the profession premature?

Tim:

I'm also going to add officiating as well.

Luke:

Oh, yeah, that, that I completely agree with that. I would much rather be a coach and an official for what it's worth, but go ahead.

Tim:

Well, place yourself in a position of a coach in, in most sports, not all of them, obviously, you know, you get down to the recreational, you know, under six soccer on a Saturday morning, you may not see this as much, but as soon as kids really start competing, And things start to become important to the parents. Then the coach experiences, pressure when coaches are not taught how to deal with that pressure when they lack the training to do their job well, when they don't have the incentives to be coaches, why would you do it? Why would I for, I, I, you know, in every, every school system is different. Um, every club program is different, but why would I for a $2,000 stipend a year, give untold hours to a sport and a group of athletes when the end result is 50% of the time, I'm going to have a losing season. And I'm going to be criticized by somebody every week. Why would I want to do that? And we, we have this really interesting dichotomy in U.S. Society where a coach is placed on a pedestal as being somebody special, but it almost gives us the, the right to criticize that coach because of the title they have. It's a really interesting environment in the U S where, you know, if somebody says coach, oh, coach, and yet they may be terrible at their job. They may be unsuccessful and they may harm athletes for all we know, but coach that's, that's an important title in the U S. So we have this very, very prestigious title in the U S called coach, which is, I would say above many, many other positions in American society. And most of the people with that title are under-trained and don't really know how to do what they do very well. It's really interesting.

Luke:

Yeah. That's what, uh, as you're sitting here talking about it, that's what I'm thinking. First of all, I agree with you. The title of coach is a tremendous responsibility and prestige that comes with that title. And it is ironic that most of these people are not trained. They just played the sport and now they're a dad or a mom, and therefore by default become the coach. And like you said, may not be very good, may be harmful, but we put them on a pedestal or, yeah, it's, It's it really is an interesting. dynamic. And. that's why when I heard you speak on the other podcast is that we need to have him on, because I think we all need to understand. The importance of training these people. And it's why, at least in my opinion, I feel that teachers make Great coaches and coaches make great teachers. And I don't know if you would disagree with that point, but unfortunately there's not a lot of us out there. Most of the coaches. Are our parents or just volunteers who love the sport. And I know neither you nor I have the answer to that, but I think it's important at least have the conversation, which is why I wanted to have you on.

Tim:

So, so what's the solution. What's the solution. And let's talk about youth sports. Cause that seems to be the conversation that we're talking about primarily today, the solution is that sports organizations need to require accreditation of some kind or training of some kind. Is that realistic right now? No. Why? Because we have a shortage of coaches. I went to a sports organization a few years ago who ran city-wide programs for kids, thousands of kids. And I said, will you allow me to come in? When the, when the coaches register all their teams and everything, you know, it's it's one evening, will you allow me to come in and just speak to them for an hour, hour and a half on how to run a practice? Just fundamentals of coaching. How to run a practice? Well, no, because, um, they won't stay. And as a consequence, no training for those codes. Literally none. And so thousands of kids, my own son was in the program. Fortunately, his coach was awesome and did a great job, but there are thousands of kids in these programs with coaches who have nothing. So you go about, okay, coaches are great teachers and vice versa. Yes. But most coaches have never been teaching. So let's provide them. Let's provide them with some basic education on how to be a teacher, how to encourage, how to motivate, uh, the logistics of running a practice, time management, safety, how to do a warmup. These are core things that every coach should know most of them don't. And it starts with the organizations saying, you know what? We should make this a requirement, even if it's a small thing, let's start small. Let's start somewhere, do something small for our coaches instead of you have to, we want to help. Big difference it terminology, but the big difference we want to help you do well as a coach. So let us support you with this knowledge, with this training rather than in order to you must, and it doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be something significant. I talked to that sports organization and I asked them the question, what is. Theoretically, my son gets hit in the head with a baseball because the coach didn't know how to run a practice and set up an unsafe drill. And my kid ends up in hospital with concussion because of this unsafe drill who's going to get sued volunteer coach, probably poor volunteer coach. Didn't sign up for. Sports organization. Absolutely. Yes. I said, if anything happens in this environment, you're so open to a lawsuit because you've provided zero training none. And what, what sports organizations should be doing. And this is, this is where, okay. In schools, coaches typically have to do some form of professional development, some kind of training to stay current or to keep their certification to coach in the school system. Every state is different, but, but when we look at youth sports, it's an, it's an open field and some of the stuff I see scares me.

Luke:

Yeah, it is really scary because you think about how impressionable those kids are and the impact these adults can have. My experience. I was a head football coach and my, and at the high school level, my youth coaches, generally speaking, were great people who wanted to learn the problem is every year we'd have the same conversation. They would come into a coaches clinic and all they wanted to talk about were schematics. And my staff and I are always like, guys, Schematics is the least of your worries. You're coaching sixth grade kids. Like, let us teach you how to structure a practice. Let us teach you how to engage all of your kids. Let us teach you how to handle the safety aspect, especially in a sport like football, but all, anyone wants to talk about our X's and O's cause that's the fun part. They think that's, what matters the most. So it's very difficult. I don't think either one of us are going to come up with a solution right now. Cause I don't know if there is one, but we're seeing the same things and it's good that release having this conversation. Um, and I know, you know, you got to get going. So we got to kind of start wrapping some things up and although we don't have resolution, we at least have the conversation started on transactional versus transformational. And there really is a conundrum because coaches want to be transformational, but yet they're going to be judged by their transactional results. So how can they balance that? I would argue transformational coaches end up winning more anyway. So can you speak to that?

Tim:

Yeah, I had a coach. I recently talked to you is an Olympic level coach. And the Olympic level coach said to me, he said, you can give any training program you want to athletes, but it doesn't matter if they don't know you care about them. He said, I will share any of my workouts with anybody who wants them because the workouts ultimately don't matter that much. What matters is my relationship with my athletes and what that means to them. That is your transformational coach. Are there transactions does this coach has to choose who is selected for the Olympic games and who is not. Absolutely. You have to make those hard decisions. You have to make who gets cut from the government funding and who is not, those are hard decisions you have to make, but ultimately, why are you making the decision? And are you always placing the athlete's well-being first cutting somebody from a program isn't necessarily the worst thing for the athlete, right? I know a lot of coaches who really struggled to cut athletes. And so they, their program is too big because they have too many people on their program because they don't want to say the hard thing, which is this program is not for you. You're not at the level that we need you to. And we, we haven't seen the change from the potential where you walked on or where we gave you a scholarship where you've really matured. Sometimes you have to say no, and that's hard. But sometimes that no is actually in the best interest of the athlete. I've been told no a few times for some job opportunities, et cetera. And that hurt. But maybe me getting that job would have hurt me. 'cause I wasn't a good fit for that job, or they didn't see me as having the right tools, whatever, and then it would have been awful. We sometimes have to recognize that saying no, or being hard on our athletes is a good thing. And when, I mean hard, I don't mean mean, I don't mean unfair. I mean, honest and open with the purpose of building that person. And I think there's a real fine line between that. And actually there, isn't a fine line. Let me, let me back up there isn't a fine line between abuse and being, being truthful and hard on your athletes. I can have an athlete and tell them they're not working hard enough and I've done it. I work with athletes all the way up to ADP. And I'm so sometimes I will tell an athlete, you're not giving me enough that athlete doesn't like to hear that. Who does that's that's being hard on them, but why am I saying that? Is it because I want them to be successful so I'm successful or is it because I genuinely want them to be better than they are. And there's the difference between the transactional and the transformational and the transactional may go further. In how they say it or why they say it, but we're looking to build that athlete up to be better than they are. And as you alluded to what's the by-product success. If that athlete will go to, you know, push themselves all the way, because they're, they want to be part of your program and they respect you and they want to be better. You're going to have a better. But if, if you run a program through fear and intimidation and threats, you may be successful. The keratin stick, both work, but long-term what kind of program are you building? Do people really want to be there? And what are those, what are those athletes think of you 10 years from now? Those are questions you, you have to watch, uh, or, or. And watch some, some Amazon prime watch some Netflix, right. Watch some of those documentaries. And you will quickly see a coach who is transformational in nature and a coach who is transactional and what they say about that coach and what they think an often how successful they are.

Luke:

Yeah. There's many shows that just popped in my head. When you mentioned that,

Tim:

I didn't mention any, any out loud, but

Luke:

right. I'm with you, there's a lot, we're probably thinking about the same ones,

Tim:

Well, there's, there's one, there's one based in Valdosta, Georgia, which is just down the roads and less

Luke:

That's the one that. popped up my head.

Tim:

And, um, and so, uh, it's one of those situations where, you can be successful, right? A coach can be successful being transaction. But without that real genuine care of building the athlete up, no. What was the talk about rings championships winning constantly, constantly, constantly. Um, now I get the counter argument, which is, you know what, but there's all those transactional coaches out there who are successful. How do you answer that? And, and my answer is carrot and the stick stick still works. You can motivate somebody. Through the stick. But imagine as talented as that coach is obviously whether it be recruiting or schemes or motivation, whatever, imagine how good they could have been. If their athletes had given everything for that coach. And I asked the question they are successful, but how many kids did they ruin on the way to get there. And we see a lot of athletes who maybe go to programs like that with a lot of potential and fall away and disappear. And that hurts to watch that, to see them fail when they had potential. That's hard to watch.

Luke:

Right. And as a coach, and you remember that these things do not need to be exclusive of each other, right? I mean, you could be transformational and transactional at the same time, which we've been talking about throughout. And I think because of the pressure to win in this society, sometimes coaches fall to one side and I believe, and it's why I started the podcast. That the ones that have the balance, the ones that lean more into the transformation. They're the ones that are more successful in the long run anyway, because the time is going to come when your talent is not better than the team that you're playing, right. It's going to happen. And that's where the transformational coaching really shines. And the, the phrase that I always use with my assistant coach. And I brought up all the time was demand without demean. And I don't know where I got that from, but always just stuck with me. You could be a hard coach. You could be a demanding coach and you don't need to dress players down. And I don't know why some coaches can't differentiate between those two, but that's why we're having

Tim:

Because they've never been taught otherwise they've never been taught how to do it otherwise. And they've seen their coaches do it and they've seen it on TV. And that's the example that they have learned in social learning. We learned from the observation of others. If I see a coach on, in, on Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon, doing this. Then that's acceptable behavior and that's what coaches do. And so, as an athlete, if my coach does it to me, well, that's what coaches do. And then when I became a coach, that's what coaches do. That's what my coaches did. Nobody's yet taught them that there's a different way. And what we need to see more of is those transformational coaches doing the right thing on Saturday and Sunday and being, being praised for it. We don't see that as much. We see the opposite and I saw recently somebody, a coach getting in the grill of a player and you know, it, it looks a little demeaning. We'll just put it like that. And the commentators talked about he needs hard coaching. Is that hard coaching? Is it demanding versus demeaning? Because what I saw looked like got very close to that, that player's face probably said a few words that shouldn't be repeated on air. And I don't think that builds up the player, but that's called hard coaching. So there's your new show? Right? Hard coaching. Uh,

Luke:

Yeah. I think we, we get confused. We think hard coaching is yelling and grabbing a face mask and twists in the kid's head

Tim:

Hard coaching is, is, is demanding more when you know, there's more there,

Luke:

Yeah, and I would go a step further. I'm sorry, I cut you off. I'd go a step further and say hard coaching is making the right decision when it's really difficult to, for example, your best player is being a disturbance in class and the teacher comes and talks to you. The hard decision is to put that player on the bench for a quarter. That's the hard decision to make, but to me, That's

Tim:

formational coach, because you've said that the academics are more important. The transactional finds a way to make sure that player still plays because you got to win.

Luke:

Yep. And it's a, it's a tough dilemma. And in fairness to those transactional coaches, that's what society sometimes pressures these adults into. And they feel as if they have no other choice. I mean, let's be honest. You know, you're at Florida state and we know your coaches on their fire. They're the football coach. I mean, there's, there's a lot of pressure. If you could go nine and four at a school like Florida state and still lose your job and it's uh, Yeah. so that's, that's another conversation, but. You're a wealth of information. There's a lot more, I would love to continue talking with, but we're starting to run out of time here. What about coaches that want to get in touch with you? I know you have a podcast, a website, email address, anything you'd like to share with our list.

Tim:

Yeah, the best way to get hold of me is you can email me. It's just tbaghurst@fsu.edu. We, we do, we have an online graduate certificate in coaching and then an online master's degree as well. And just go to FSU website, look for FSU coach. You'll find us once you get past all of the athletic coaches on staff. But, but what we do is we run a YouTube channel where we interview people as well. And I hope that is a, a resource for coaches who say, you know what? I don't have the money to go and get all this professional developers. Okay, well, it's free. We're talking with people from all over the world across all different sports and levels and, and learning from them. And, and in many ways I'm spoiled because I get to learn from them each week. That is a great place to, to gain knowledge. So that's just called FSU coach and it's on your.

Luke:

Great. When I'm with you on that, I'm spoiled getting to do this podcast. I get to talk to you so many. And inspiring people and I get to learn along the way as well. So thanks so much for being so generous with your time. I know we've been went over what I promised you. We would. So thank you. And there's a lot of other things I'd like to continue talking with. So maybe we could do a part two. So keep that door open.

Tim:

My pleasure.

Luke:

I love Dr. Baghurst, dentist analogy. It's spot on. We're entrusting our kids to coaches who lack any formal training. Look just because that coach was an All-American in college, he or she is not qualified to be a coach by default. Education and I'm grouping athletics into education. Is slow to evolve because it's bogged down by this, "this is how we've always done it" attitude. Schools and clubs sports. I need to prioritize providing and requiring professional accreditation to coaches. And I disagree with this being too cost prohibitive, especially given the vital role and profound influence athletics play within communities Let's think outside the box. There's always solutions to problems and to me this is a crucial issue that needs to be addressed for the sake of our young athletes If we really want kids to take their eyes off their phones or to put down that video game controller, We need to provide them with an experience that is just as engaging and fun, and I believe properly trained coaches can do just that. I provided links to FSU Coach In the show notes that includes Dr. Baghurst's YouTube channel and i encourage you to subscribe to his newsletter so you can continue to grow as a coach Speaking to growth The "I" in Win continues to gain momentum So thank you for listening and thank you for spreading the word. Please continue to do so and recommend the podcast that others who might find value And consider leaving your view to provide feedback for me. I linked where to leave a review in the show notes as well. Thanks again and remember the more I's we impact in this world the more everyone wins that's The "I" in Win!

Tim Baghurst Profile Photo

Tim Baghurst

Professor

Tim Baghurst is a Professor of Education and the Director of FSU COACH: Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching at Florida State University. He earned his doctorate in kinesiology from the University of Arkansas and has four additional degrees achieved in three different countries.

Tim’s research focuses on coaching education and development, with specific interests in coaching ethics and coach health and well-being. He has had more than 100 peer-reviewed articles published in addition to many book chapters and several books. His scholarly work has been recognized with a Board of Regents Research Award, state and national awards, and he has been honored with Fellow status by SHAPE America.

Tim’s teaching includes a multidisciplinary educational and athletic background. He has led study abroad classes and was an exchange student himself. His teaching incorporates his experiences working with a variety of athletic and coaching organizations at the community, collegiate, professional, and international level. These include organizations affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), United States Olympic Committee (USOC), and International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Tim has served the larger community through many organizations, including NAKHE as Vice-President (2019). For example, he is an active board member of the Women’s Football Alliance and the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour. He also serves as a performance coach for FSU’s Women’s Beach Volleyball team.
Tim is married to Terra-Leigh. They have two sons, Asa (15) and Asher (11), in addition to a cocker spaniel, Hershey (13), a Holland Lop bunny, Hokey (1), and Ribbit (age unknown), an alligator who lives at the bottom of the yard. He is a competitive racquetball and squash 57 player, and has represented England at multiple world and senior world championships.