This might be my favorite topic. You know, we do a lot of training and whatnot, but since I am a coach and I've been a coach since 1978, yeah. That far back, this is really my favorite topic. And it's always exciting when somebody says they are interested in getting into coaching, but we need to put that into a, you know, a very serious context because first of all, it is not as a glamorous job behind the scenes, as you might think, and you see people on the sideline or wherever it is, courtside or anything like that. First of all, you have to consider the financial reward. That's not the reason anybody gets into coaching. If you have a goal to climb the ladder to be at the highest level of coaching, you can, then you just, you just start and I've had an opportunity to be at every level.Coach Bob King (02:05):
And I've had the opportunity to work with individuals who I've helped guide you into coaching. And I'm just going to use a few examples that may fit one of y'all situations to where this may get you started. If you're thinking about getting into coaching, I think that's awesome. I never get graded a day, a minute, an hour. Anytime I spend in coaching, I coached so you'll have a preference or an idea where I was. I coached football for 20 years. I coached track and field for 19 years. I've been a strength and conditioning coach forever. And so there's a lot of avenues I took and they all seem to somewhat overlap in a school setting. They definitely overlap because you tend to go from sport to sport outside of your favorite. And then you obviously will see your, a lot of the same athletes.Coach Bob King (02:53):
So you get to develop relationships there. Now, all that aside, let's get into coaching itself. First of all, design our experience. You know, let me go to an extreme, I want to show up and I want to be a head coach someday. No, today I, to be the head coach, no. Let me give you my example. I was offered my first head coaching football job when I was 28 and I turned it down because I had only worked on one staff and I knew I needed to be more experienced. I needed to see more, do more. And so I continue to you know, go to clinics and listen to the great coaches. We worked on my staff. I changed schools then that school changed staff. So before long, I had one staff to now three staffs. And so I started getting exposure to different head coaches, different coaching styles, different colleagues, co-assistant coaches.Coach Bob King (03:47):
And I got a broader perspective on what coaching was, and it's not getting on the whiteboard and drawing up plays necessarily. That's. So part of it, coaching is teaching management. It's a, huge responsibility it's glamor work and grunt work. And so you're not, you gotta be able to get, get your hands dirty. You want to be able to understand that there are days when you may be the towel boy, you know, folding or washing towels, or you may be the person on the sideline. It calls the play that wins the game. So it's all that in between. It is long hours. When I say long hours in most sports nowadays, you have some sort of video work to do. And back in the old days, it was film. And when the cameraman took the film on Friday night, we had to take it 20 miles away to get developed, and then pick it up at the crack of dawn in the morning to be back for coaches meetings and on and on and on and on.Coach Bob King (04:44):
So in-season with football there's, it's just today and tomorrow. What day is it? Well, game days tomorrow, and it's the next day and the next day. So coaching to me is a great profession that separates people real quick because of the grind. And so that's a keyword also in the program, grind, reward, the disappointment you know, we always used to say football is like life only different, but I'm not so sure how different it is. Let me give you an example. And just without talking about, you know, life or sports, staying with the football example during the week of preparation, you get yourself ready to think that you're going to beat your opponent. You go to your pep rally and everybody's excited and enthusiastic, and then you go to the game and the game can be up and down. I've been on every side of everything.Coach Bob King (05:35):
I've been 49 and nothing in halftime, both sides, you know, I've had been up 49, nothing. I've been down 40 nothing. And so everybody gets a turn and that's just something you have to, you learn stuff from those experiences. You learn how to handle adversity for your staff, for your players, for your, your let's say your booster club, her parents because they are living through you and you have to communicate to them. What's the outcome here. What's going to happen. Now, we got, we, we want it all. What are we going to do next repeat? And that's not always so easy. We just were terrible this year. What are we going to do? How are we going to rebuild? So there is the list of things that go into coaching besides just patting a guy on the button, telling him the good job is extremely enormous and deep.Coach Bob King (06:27):
The thing about coaching is that it's, it's got long droughts of, you know, let's say off-season inactivity, and it's got intense times of just constant in season seven days a week nonstop. So you have to be ready to handle the ebb and flow of what coaching offers you. And part of that is going to be from a financial standpoint, as I mentioned a moment ago, and to the reward and disappointment part of coaching you know, in my high school career here in Texas, we won state championships. And like I said, that's awesome. We went 13 and oh one year. But when I became a head coach and started a program in a school that never had football before we probably went, oh, and nine. So that's just coaching. Coaching is teaching and getting up the next day and doing it again and getting up the next day and doing it again. So it's not just watching the best sports movie you can find and be inspired by it is the satisfaction you'll get from the daily grind of dealing with, you know, depending on the context of parents, the players' teachers, administrators, and everything that goes into, especially a school setting and even a club setting for certain other sports.
When you can get started. Right? Yeah, it really is. And so to a point you made a minute ago we always joked about there's, there's two kinds of coaches, those that have been fired and those that are going to be fired. And then there's the old saying rent don't buy. So, you know, and I guess that's a lot of every job, but the PR the difference being the coaching is such a high profile position that when a coach is fired its news. And so you know, people in other jobs, at least, I guess at least you, you can get fired and it's not public knowledge. So two kinds of coaches, but then, the thing that you want to look at is you know, there's a lot of ways to say it is that you've got to count the cost.Coach Bob King (10:33):
And so if you're in a relationship with somebody, then that person needs to know that I'm a coach and this is what it involves. And you know, it's, it's August 1st see you December 1st and that's just how it goes. And so the deal is we have to be who we are, and I can say, Bob king is a coach. You know, I'm not anything else, I'm a coach. And when I recognize that in the light went on and I was trying to, you know, grow up and develop a career and a direction. One thing that I observed in my, my world was I had sports and coaching, no matter what, if I had a job that I was working, I was coaching part-time somewhere. If I was, it didn't matter. I had coached in my description from the time I left college to the time I'm sitting here talking to you.Coach Bob King (11:28):
So the coach is just what I discovered that I am, and you cannot deny who you are. So I don't want to discourage anybody ever. And what I have done is I had a guy I'm gonna give you two examples. And it worked out very, very well. When I was Costco coaching, and there was a guy that worked at the school who used to stand at the fence and just watch practice. And I don't even remember what he did at the school, he's a substitute teacher or something we're in there. And one day his time goes by I'm over by the fence practices over and we're talking and I got to meet him. And he was substitute teaching and whatnot. And he just kinda said, you know, w what do I do to get in coaching? And he told me a little bit about his background that had was athletic background.Coach Bob King (12:16):
So he was a candidate. He didn't, you know, come from zero to try to just jump into coaching. He had a little bit of a flavor of it. And I said, well, I tell you what I'm going to introduce you to the hangout program. And what you do is you come and hang out and you come and offer to do whatever anybody needs to be done. And then you just watch and listen and wait. And he, he was so enthused and eager to even have some direction that he came and started hanging out. And he had access now into the field of the practice and met the staff. And just started talking, having a conversation, and years not years go by, but time goes by and he's coaching. And we, we got him in, he took the time and patience to work his way into middle school, up to high school when middle school, junior varsity high school, just a standard ladder climb, but he did it the ways a lot of people have to do it.Coach Bob King (13:13):
Another really close friend of mine was in the same kind of situation. And he was looking to move on and out and up. And he had these ideas and dreams and aspirations, and he was thinking about going here, going there. And when I say, go here, go there. I'm talking about going to another city in another state. And so we had dinner one night, a long, long, long dinner. And I said, look, here's the deal goes, just that simple pack, your bag and go. And so he ends up in Jackson, Mississippi at a school coaching. And this thing led him to, I think, two or three stops before he lands back in Dallas in a solid position. But that was him gaining experience. That was him checking boxes on, like, I want to do this. No, that didn't work. I want to do this.Coach Bob King (14:00):
No, that didn't work. Oh, here it is. And so that's sometimes what it takes. If you ever have a serious interest in climbing the coaching ladder, next time, wherever you are, a high-profile position is filled. So for example, if you're a university of the big time and your city and a coach is hired, just go to the sports page and they always put in his bio and you will see a column almost full of, of stops. And so this coach was a defensive line coach at somewhere high school. Then he was a graduate assistant at a small town, a university, and then he was, and then he was, and you'll see all these amazing little stops, his assistant, this graduate assistant assistant assistant to the assistant and just work his way up into where the next thing you know, he's Nick Saban or bill parcels, or some great coach that we've all heard of.Coach Bob King (15:01):
And so it's not wake up, go fill out the application and get the job. It is wake up, take a deep breath and make the dive. And you may start, you know, I don't know how bottom the bottom is, but you may start at the bottom and just start that slow long climb. If you are serious about it, if you are serious about it, you will never stop learning. You will go everywhere. You can. I have been in more plane rides and car drives to go to clinics and, to hear coaches speak, talk to coaches in person, and find out everything I could find out about coaching football. And when I got through with that, I would still get in on the plane, get in the car and go to the strength and conditioning clinic as close by as I could find, and never stop learning, being exposed, and getting my feet wet up to your eyeballs. So coaching is not automatic. So get Fasten your seat belt and hold on for the ride.
The thing you said a minute ago, that's very, very huge is networking because in, I'm going to get back to that point in a minute, but then, the idea that, you know, over time, I coached against a lot of guys, you know, teams, change coaches and stuff. And so what would happen is it's kind of funny. The in, in the Texas high school coaches association, is the largest in the country. And when you go to the Texas high school coach, we call it coaching school in Texas, you go to coaching school. Well, that's the Nat, the annual convention. And there's, I dunno if it's 12 or 13,000 coaches at this thing and it's monstrous and you go down there and you see everybody you've coached against, I don't care if it was five years ago, you see those people and it's just you, Hey, where are you now?Coach Bob King (19:13):
Oh yeah. When did you move? And so, and that's the nature of coaching, you know? And so what we ended up doing is just, you go places, meet people, the networking thing you were talking about and start finding out, you know, what, what people are looking for and doing there's job boards. You join the Texas high school coaches association is something. If you're in a state, you join, you're a member card-carrying member and you get the magazine, you know, everything that's going on around the state. And you get to know the names and faces of people in let's call it at the top, you know because there is a hierarchy here. And so this goes across the board, this is the Texas high school coaches association. So it's football, basketball, volleyball, softball, swimming, diving, all the, if you're a coach, you're in it.Coach Bob King (20:00):
And it's a huge organization. So that's where you start getting out of the idea that I'm in this alone. Nope. You go in and get, you get familiar with it. And I just know that when I go down there and when I've been at the coaching school, I walk in the door and I'm home, you know, I can be out for five years and go back and go I'm home. And that's just how it goes. And so from that, the network just gets enormous because, you know, I learned, I learned to find vendors, you know, people who, you know, sold uniforms field supplies, equipment. And so you just start getting yourself immersed in what coaching is all about. So make sure you understand that don't watch TV, don't watch games on TV, and say, oh, I want to do that. No, be real careful, be, be aware. And so finding out about what coaching involves, we've already talked about with family and finances and stuff those matter. But then again, as I said, you can't run. If you're a coach, you're going to, it's going to pull you towards it.
Let me put it to you like this. I know a guy there's a guy that works out at this place. That's a musician. And. he's a musician and his instruments, the guitar, he's a guitar player. And so he, he records. He does gigs. He plays the guitar. I, I play the guitar, he's a guitar player and there's a huge difference. And so, you know you know, the difference between I'm a coach, as opposed to a guy who wants to be a coach, because it's not all, it's not for everybody. So make sure you understand guitar players play the guitar. Are you a coach or a want to be is, is, is popular to say. And so that's a very fine line, a very important line. And we've been in situations where it's like, dude, you just need to be in coaching, man. I don't know why you talk about it so much. Just go do it. And in 180 degrees is true as well. This is not for you. And I've only known a couple of them that I've had in places I've worked with. It's like, this is not for you. So we're going to move you on because coaching is that sus that specific and unique.Coach Bob King (22:17):
Yeah. There's nothing wrong with that.
And I think that's a very important differentiation because I flew by it a minute ago. But when it gets into coaching, especially as you go up the levels and you have assignments and responsibilities through the ranks. So whether you're an assistant or a second assistant or the head coach has been all of them I've done everything. And so every, you know, some schools, for example, the athletic director, he handles the scheduling. I handle my scheduling. But when you handle scheduling again, I mentioned that you have staff what's the staff will I have X number of assistant coaches? Oh, I have a training staff. I have to deal with the head athletic trainer and the assistant traders and who are going to help me with my team. I have an equipment manager and equipment manager purchases, and who's going to outfit the team and how are we going to purchase equipment?Coach Bob King (24:37):
And what's, what is this year's color scheme? I mean, it gets layers and layers and layers. And so whether it's buying warm-ups shoes, socks we have a dress code you know you know, when I was at, as a head coach, we had a, obviously, we had a game uniform, but we also, we had a game sock. The sock had to be a certain height. We had practice uniforms. You, you wore this to practice. It's uniform in one form. And so you're dealing with now, you know you know, I had a coach, I signed to be the I'm trying to think of a public word I can use. He was tried to be the bad guy that we had a different name for him, but he said, all right, Gary, you're the bad guy. And so his job was to go around and you know, get guys on their practice gear.Coach Bob King (25:25):
Why? Because it's discipline. Why? Because if you will be disciplined in everything you do, I've got a better chance for you to be successful when it counts in the game. And please understand, I keep talking football, that's my background. But I dealt with all this to a certain degree when it is ahead track and field coach basketball coaches are gonna do the same thing. And so it's got a mountain of responsibility besides just calling plays. So make sure you know, you say something like getting into it for the right reasons. Well, if you're a coach, you're a coach, but you've got to learn head to toe up and down left and right. Everything about coaching before you decided this is what I want to do. And it's great.