Everyone has a place where they can be utilized to the maximum potential. The problem lies in that it is often times incredibly hard to find a place where someone’s talents can be maximized.
When you were in college, did the program cater to your strengths? Did they make sure that every lesson was designed, and instructed in the best possible way for your learning style? Did they let you find your niche, and then develop a program for you around that niche?
When you get a profession, do they cater the job to you, or do you cater to the job? I used to be in a profession where I was very limited into the amount of talents that I could use. I was crippled by the profession and the leadership. It took several years, but I realized (with the help of my wife) that wasn’t my niche. Coaching and teaching, just happens to be a job that is better suited for me. You can create any type of learning environment you choose. The school or team (head coach) plays a critical role, but in your particular role in the classroom, or on the field, you have the opportunity to create something that works for you and for your students/players.
While creating that environment, remember that every person on that team, in that classroom, has a place. According to John Maxwell, each player has a place where they add the most value. He calls this the “Law of the Niche” and goes into depth in his book “The 17 Laws of Leadership”. I recently read this book and immediately thought about our team.
It is sometimes easy to see who is going to play, and who is going to play a more supportive role, but until each player realizes themselves, where they add the most value, there could be problems. There are going to be players who truly believe they should be in a different role. You are going to have players yell and scream and think that they are leading by doing so, but they aren’t the leaders. You are going to have players constantly moan and whine about not getting any playing time, but maybe they are better off as a scout team player. You are going to have players who think they are the whole team, when the talent behind them may serve the team better. Regardless of where the players think they should be, what are you as a coach doing to help them realize where they are is where they belong. Make sure every player realizes the importance of every role on the team.
We have scout players, team leaders, starters, and players that just love the game and want to be a part of something special and they all play a critical role to the team. Every player on that team should be on the same page as the coach when it comes to their niche. If they can’t come to a conclusion together, perhaps their niche is not on the team at all.