Dear dance coaches,

Sometimes we all need a little pick-me-up and reassurance that we’re on the right track. We all have those dark days where it feels like we’ve failed. Like we aren’t meant to do this after all. Over my years of coaching, I’ve definitely has some dark moments. Times when I felt like I was completely lost, a terrible coach, and my team deserved so much better. I needed coaching advice, but I didn’t know where to turn, so I turned inward and hid my feelings from everyone around me.

But I learned a lot in those dark moments. I learned to rely on my coaching philosophy because it brings me peace in hard times. I learned to talk out my issues with my trusted inner circle because I know they will lift me up and not judge me for my mistakes. But probably my biggest lesson, was to enjoy the journey. No one is perfect at anything, which means you can’t expect yourself to be the perfect coach every single day. If you preach effort and growth and hard work to your team, give yourself the same grace to learn and grow. And make mistakes.

Once I finally learned to take my mistakes and failures as an opportunity for growth instead of beating myself up for not “knowing better” or “seeing it coming,” my whole coaching career changed.

So today, I want to share a few simple lessons I’ve learned from my darkest moments as a coach. There’s a lot more moments of light, happiness, and pure joy than there are these dark moments. But the days when you feel alone are the days you need to find support. So if I can be a small piece of support, I’m honored to do so.

Remember, you’re not perfect, but you’re exactly what your team needs you to be

Coaching Advice You May Need to Hear

  • When you’ve put in everything you can but came up short – you did enough
  • When you get yelled at by parents for enforcing the rules – you are strong enough and the dancers are better for your presence in their lives
  • When you are losing sleep over making the right decision – you are thoughtful and did your best
  • When you have to cut a dancer from your team because they are hurting your team culture – you are there for everyone, not just that one dancer, and you can’t save them all
  • When you feel like quitting, but coaching means too much to you – you are a valuable person whether you coach or contribute in some other way
  • When you feel like giving up because no one wants it as bad as you – you can make it happen and get them on board with you, your job is to have bigger dreams than anyone else
  • When you watch another coach succeed and want to be like them – take their advice as an inspiration but do it your way. Just because your way is different doesn’t make them a better coach
  • When you question every small decision and always seek out advice and confirmation that you’re doing the right thing – trust your gut. It’s more valuable than anything anyone else can tell you and no one knows you and your team like you do
  • When you feel like you’re the only one who  __________ (doesn’t know what to do, feels guilty leaving your kids to see your dance kids, stays up late doing rhinestones at the sacrifice of your own sleep, made a decision you regret, etc.) YOU’RE NOT ALONE!

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