Anthony Donskov is the founder of DSC where he serves as the Director of Sport Performance. Donskov holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Science & is the author of Physical Preparation for Ice Hockey.
I vividly remember turning sixteen and getting my driver’s license. Truth be told, I felt unprepared, uncomfortable and flat out scared behind the wheel for the first several months. It took me years to get acclimated, feel comfortable and learn the intricacies of the road. The “license” was just a piece of paper, not an advanced qualification, not trail and error experience, sweat equity, hours of sacrifice or deliberate practice. The “license” did not allow me to drive motorcycles, eighteen-wheelers or commercial machinery. In retrospect the “license” didn’t take much time to receive and certainly left me with many more experiences to gain other than the pages of a driver’s education handbook. You may be asking, what does this have to do with Coaching? Well, in this day and age of whom we consider “experts”, it has everything to do with Coaching!
Becoming an accomplished Coach goes well beyond certifications, memorized answers, pre-cooked philosophies and practical experience that looks like my hairline (I’m bald). A credit card, heart beat and overnight certification does NOT make you a good Coach. Certification doesn’t always equal qualification! A certification is simply a “license” and it’s important that we don’t overstress the importance of acronyms and paperwork. Yes, a license is necessary, law abiding and mandated in order to drive, but it certainly doesn’t make you a good driver, it doesn’t make you a safe driver, it doesn’t make you a knowledgeable driver and it certainly doesn’t give you instant experience. There are many lessons that cannot be learned in the pages of a manual or 60 minute DVD. It’s important that we are certified with the appropriate “license” in order to perform our jobs lawfully, but MORE important is our actual qualification. I am not impressed that you can quote rule 75a on page 49 in the safety manual when your experience behind the wheel involves a five-hour in car assessment. How long have you driven (How long have you Coached?)? What’s your driving record (What are your RESULTS?)? How many speeding tickets (DO NO HARM!)? Do people enjoy driving with you (Are you a transformational Coach?)? SO buckle up, enjoy the ride and remember, although the “license” is important, it doesn’t make the driver!