The coaching profession is full of quality people, the majority of which decide to pursue coaching not to get rich, or with a vision to lead an FBS program to a national championship one day, but who have their sights set on things a little smaller, but every bit as important to them.
Here are 6 signs that you're in the coaching profession for all the right reasons.
1 - There's a special, sacred, feeling you get being called "coach," and there always will be
The power and honor that go into being called coach doesn't lie in the title, it's in the meaning behind the word and knowing that parents and these kids have chosen, and entrusted you with helping them develop into better people, students, and players. Hearing someone call you coach years, and decades, after actually coaching that player is a truly unique experience only coaches who have made a true impact can enjoy, and relish in.
2 - There's almost nothing you wouldn't do to help out a current or former player
Being a coach means being willing to do a lot for your players that can range from something as simple as being a name on their list of references, to things more complicated like standing with them on parents day before the game, or fielding a late night call from them in need. Those are the types of things that are never detailed in a job description, but those that understand the big picture of the role a coach plays in a players lives get that there's almost nothing they wouldn't do for a player in need.
3 - Few things bring you more joy than reconnecting with former players about new jobs, getting married, having kids, and other major life milestones
The longer you've been a coach, the more of these experiences with former players you have, but even young coaches can appreciate running into a guy they coached just a few years ago to hear they've just checked off a major life milestone, and every so often that player will also share that they're in that position because of stuff they learned playing under you, which is always a great bonus.
4 - Your title is not all that significant in the big picture
At first glance, it's easy to take this one the wrong way. What I mean by it is that many coaches feel like the head coach or coordinator are the only ones that can have an effect on a player outside their position group or side of the ball, but believing that your title has anything to do with who you can influence is narrow minded. Players have a tendency to remember a special moment, phrase, act, or word of encouragement for decades and hold on to it regardless of who it came from. Know that your title does not limit who can you can have a positive influence on, and sadly, the same can be said for a negative influence.
5 - You don't look forward to the difficult conversations, but understand that their importance and value outweigh your personal feelings
No on really looks forward to the difficult conversations that coaches, especially head coaches, have to have with players, parents, boosters, and administration. But those that are in this profession for the right reasons see the value in having those difficult conversations, whether it's fighting for something you feel your players deserve, or talking to a player about a difficult life-altering decision he's made, the value always outweighs the apprehension.
6 - You get a tremendous amount of joy seeing a kid develop over the years
Whether it's a skinny freshman still growing into his body that develops into a star player, or the out of shape kid that had no previous team sports experience that is transformed after his experience in your program helped to give him some much needed confidence. As coaches, we all bear witness to stories like this year in and year out, and each one of them is special for their own reason.