Coaching Players Toward Reaching Potential

After 28 years of coaching, one of the questions I’m often asked is, “What was your biggest challenge?” I would have to say coaching all the players toward reaching their potential. Here are more of my thoughts on that and how it relates to fatherhood.

When I first started coaching in 1981, I was a 25-year-old assistant. Chuck Noll was my boss, and he was a Hall of Famer. I asked him, “Coach, what is my job? What do you want me to do as an assistant coach?” He told me that my job was to help each of my players be the best they can be. I knew that would involve pressing all sorts of buttons to motivate different players to perform well. Some of the most talented players were the most challenging because they had never had to work hard before. Therefore, they never reached their potential. I had to challenge them and explain that they were good, but they could be great, maybe even the best. So I had to think each day, “How do I get my players to push themselves to become great?”

As parents, we need to motivate our kids to be the best they can be.


We need to do the same things with our kids. As parents, we need to motivate our kids to be the best they can be. Perhaps they aren’t giving their best effort in school. I’m constantly thinking about how to get each of my kids to “play up to their potential.” Finding ways to do that can be challenging, but what has worked more than anything is giving them encouragement. Encouraging them to work harder, focus more, and use the gifts God gave them has motivated them more than anything.

Sound off: How do you help your kids in reaching potential?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What motivates you to try harder?”