To the coach who is desperate,
I’ve been in your shoes.
I’ve been in your shoes.
If you’re frustrated,
you don’t have to take this journey alone.
I’ve been there.
I know what it feels like to lose that game-changing recruit to the school with more resources. To find whatever you can get your hands on that might give you one-tenth of a percent of an advantage. To need that career-saving win.
The business can be exhausting.
I’ll never get on this blog and pretend like I’ve got it all figured out, but I can say this–– the two things that helped me move out of a state of desperation were mutual accountability and taking the narrow road.
1. Mutual Accountability
Mutual accountability with peers gave me the sounding board to realize that everyone was in the same boat and that even the most bleak situations were never too bleak.
We’re all in various phases of hair-on-fire. We all understand that our circumstances can change at any given time. Security is fleeting and performance can flip on a moment’s notice.
If you’ve been in this business long enough, you know. That makes your coaching community vital. One of my greatest assets as a coach was a weekly Zoom call with a few colleagues. It sharpened me, it humbled me, and it made me realize that no matter the circumstances, you’re never alone.
2. Taking the Narrow Road
By definition, the narrow road is the less-traveled path. If the wide road is the path of least resistance, the narrow road is paved in dirt, bumpy as all get-out and not worth the time to an outsider. The wide road is easy to traverse, which is why most people take that path.
What nobody tells you, though, is that the wide road is bland. It’s bleak. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of nothing when everybody on the wide path is moving the same direction and the same speed.
The narrow road is full of hope. The narrow road is hopeful because it’s how you differentiate yourself. The narrow road is how you win.
You’ve got this, coach.
At Preseason, we often say that our agency exists to help you win. Saying that we help you win is – quite frankly – a little amorphous. What I truly mean when I say that phrase is that we help you do more than you think you can. That’s a literal thing (like helping you execute on social), but it’s also walking with you.
Our desire is to exist as a sounding board for your ideas and giving you some new ideas when you need them. Supporting you while we walk the narrow road together is what this is all about.
If you need anything, shoot me an email. We’re in this together.
This article is the twelfth in a series on athletics branding. Jayson Schmidt is a former NCAA Division II head coach and managing partner of Preseason, a creative agency that helps colleges win.
Struggling with your brand or just simply want an edge on the competition? Preseason can elevate your story and deliver it to recruits, fans, and donors.