Chop wood, Carry water: Kevin Keeton 4/29

Kevin Keeton

By Kevin Keeton St. Joseph Benton Head Coach
Posted: April 30, 2018 - 8:47 AM

Nearly 20 assistant coaches in the metro area just finished our first GKCFCA Assistant Coaches Leadership Academy. Over 3 sessions, these coaches dug into the following topics: a program’s mission/vision/values, building/leading a staff, and being in the public eye.

I want to first say thank you to several current or former head coaches who found the time to participate in our academy. Sam Knopick, Greg Smith, Kyle Roach, Leon Douglas, Paul Brown, and Jeff Rich all gave back to our association with their time and talent throughout the spring.

Additionally, our young coaches were very blessed to have Ryan Krzykowski, Director of Community for Coaches, participate in the final session. If you haven’t reached out to Ryan yet, you should. His Kansas City-based organization is fighting the good fight on the ground level. They are a great resource for designing and articulating a coaching purpose for any level of coaching or sport.

I also want to say thank you to the assistant coaches who actively participated in our academy. As any head coach knows, assistants are what make or break the program. This was no different. From the first session, these young coaches were incredibly impressive in their willingness to not only talk (which we do way too much of as coaches), but more importantly to listen to each other.

At the end of the program, we asked the coaches to be able to articulate their coaching purpose statement. To be able to explain – sincerely and succinctly – why do I coach? Trust me, going thru this journey made all of us self-reflect.

Why do I coach? That singular question, and its answer, should be the alpha and omega for all good coaches. Do players, parents, assistants, administrators, budgets, and bus drivers exist to serve me, or do I exist to serve them? Ask yourself what you really believe. Then do this – ask yourself how you really behave. I understand - it’s not an easy thing to do.

That reflection was part of my journey during our sessions together. The man in the mirror can be a tough customer. Do I really behave in a way that parallels what I believe to be important in our profession? Am I more transformational or transactional? And if I am the latter – then why am I so scared to change?

Kyle Roach may have said it best during one of our sessions: “The one thing that all great coaches have in common is how hard his kids play for him. And the only way they will play hard for him today – is if they love him.”

Well said Coach.

Kevin Keeton is the head coach at St. Joseph Benton.