Is it worth it?

Dan Pfaff - ALTIS Head Coach, and Mentor to 1000's of coaches
Dan Pfaff

Dan Pfaff

Head Coach

I have been consistently challenged in multiple environments.  

The two biggest challenges for me in scale and scope are constant battles with:

  1. Administration silos / scope of practice, etc. 
  2. Support agencies around the athlete

I have fought constant battles with NGBs, Olympic Committees, meet promoters, legislation issues, and world-politic. 

On the support side, endless and inane conflicts from agents, sponsors, parents, significant others, teammates, ATCs/physios, ‘medical experts’ and support coach staff. It is the same at developmental levels, and is what drove me out of high school coaching: school board members, Superintendents, parents, fellow teachers, peer influences, etc.  

That’s the bad side of our sport.  

It takes time, energy and a massive collection of resources to battle these factors. This stole time from my family, and the athletes I was trying to support. 

Frustration is corrosive and it eats away at the soul over time if we’re not careful. 

I am often asked if I would do anything differently now with the benefit of hindsight and wisdom, but I have always been one to state that the mistakes, mis-steps, rabbit holes and endless failures are springboards to future change and growth — and in the main, I still feel that way. 

Hindsight is always 20/20.

Another thing I get asked about a lot is sacrifice.  

For me, sacrifice is a values-trading puzzle: some delay reward, some bring reward, some result in loss, some in gain. I always made a plus and minus list of life values and life factors each season at year’s end. 

If the negatives far outweighed the positives, I moved on or sought deeper counsel. 

I still do this to this day.  

My goal is simply to end up on the plus side more than I do on the minus side.  

While coaching is not for everybody, it has been very rewarding for me.  Next week, I’ll share some thoughts on how to avoid some of the pitfalls I have fallen into.


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