This is an excerpt from Winning Ways of Women Coaches by Cecile B. Reynaud.
By Denise Corlett
When someone once asked me, “How do I get a job like yours?” I said, “Get a job working with someone who wants to do everything you don’t want to do.” The goal is to make the head coach successful because if the head coach is successful, then the team is going to be successful and you will be able to stay in that job. If that head coach is not successful, you probably won’t get to stay there if they let the head coach go. Don’t go into a job interview and say, “I want to do this.” Instead, convey that you are willing to do what the head coach and program need you to do.
Be prepared to answer a variety of questions when you are interviewed:
- Why do you want to work here?
- What do you bring to this program?
- What are the characteristics of an ideal assistant coach?
- What are your strengths and the areas you may need to improve?
- Tell me about a critical situation you were involved in and how you handled it.
- What does loyalty mean to you?
- What brings you joy in coaching—in other words, why do you like to coach?
Understand your own coaching philosophy and the philosophy of the person you want to work with. Once you work for them, don’t be afraid to disagree with or provide a different perspective on things to the head coach in a respectful way. They don’t need someone to agree with them on everything, but challenge them with different points of view. Then, when a decision is made on a topic, you will need to support it 100 percent, whether it aligns with your philosophy or not.
You should also be prepared with your own list of questions during the interview:
- What is the coaching philosophy of the head coach?
- What roles and responsibilities would you see for me if I get this job?
- What would I be doing during practices and games?
- What is the philosophy of the head coach on winning and losing?
- What are your expectations of your assistants?