My Personal and Coaching Philosophy

The following is a portion of my “Leadership in Positive Coaching Portfolio” that I completed while working on my degree at the University of Missouri. I believe that while this is a coaching philosophy, it can easily be used as a personal philosophy as well.

Core Values:

  • Honesty- meaning we agree to never lie, cheat, or do something that is against our values. This will help guide our decision making, and it will help us to avoid unnecessary communication issues. By telling the truth and being honest it will help the team grow to trust one another.
  • Enthusiasm- is important to me because it makes the task at hand more enjoyable. Enthusiasm can easily raise the energy level of a group, and help to make things more productive.
  • Effort- Giving it you best effort at all times is a key characteristic to being successful in and out of sport. If you do you best, good things are likely to happen.
  • Teamwork- Basketball is a team sport; much like a family, or a company is like a team. No one on a basketball team can do everything by themselves, and a family would not be a family with just one person. Teamwork is necessary for success, so I want to instill this into my athletes
  • Respect- Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Coach your athletes how you wish you would be treated by your coaches in the past. Respect can go a long way, and with it you can develop teamwork, trust, and a collective motivation to strive for mastery.



Mission Statement:

My mission as the coach is to teach the student athletes that I coach to be men of high integrity and character through Wheelchair Basketball. My goal is for my athletes to feel that they are better athletes, and better people overall because of their time with this team. As a team we will always give it our all in the effort to win, but we will never sacrifice personal development and character building for the sake of getting a victory on the court.


Coaching Philosophy:

In order to get the athletes I coach to grow as athletes and as people I expect them and every single person that is a part of the program to be honest. I will speak about the importance of honesty, and be a model of honesty for my athletes. I also believe that it is essential for every person to be passionate and enthusiastic, while putting forth their best effort at all times. If you are not trying your best and you do not have a great attitude, your performance will suffer and you will not improve at the rate that you should. Effort and enthusiasm also helps to make the sport or any activity for that matter, more enjoyable. I will always bring forth my best effort, and provide a model for passion for the game each and every day. Process over outcome, I am looking for my athletes to learn to love the process of improvement and the process of becoming successful. Sure everyone wants to win, but the person who loves the process of becoming a champion is the one who is most likely to become a champion. In an effort to create teamwork and equality, I will do my best to treat all athletes fairly. It is not always possible to treat them the exact same, because different people have different needs, but I will do my best to treat them all fairly. The last thing I really thing is essential to success is that you must believe in what you are doing, and have a vision/goal for where you want to get to. I will talk with players individually, and with the team as a whole to discuss roles for everyone, and goals for each individual. We will also set up goals for what we want to accomplish as a team. I believe that this will provide a good base for everyone to build from and learn from.


Early on in the positive coaching program I remember that I had a much stronger opinion on winning being the only thing that truly mattered. I knew that was not the case, but I valued winning much higher than teaching life lessons, and getting my athletes to grow as people. Since beginning the program I have learned that it is much more important to teach your athletes how to be a success as a human being. No one wins every single time they do something, and so there is always room to grow. Mastery is an ongoing process that requires passion, effort, teamwork, perseverance, dedication, and much more. Without all of these essential parts a person will never reach their full potential in their sport. It is these same character traits that also make a person a success as a parent, employer, employee, spouse, or friend. Sports can be a way of teaching boys and girls what it takes to be truly successful in life. The secret to success is the same in sports as it is in all other areas. Early on I always saw sports as a win or lose, not as an opportunity to teach these life lessons, and I am thrilled that now I understand there is so much more to it than that.

I think besides the fact that winning is not the only important thing to sports, the biggest lesson I have learned came as a metaphor about motivation. The metaphor had to do with grilling meat and making the fire. If you take your time and bring the fire up from the kindling and logs, the fire will burn much longer, and the meat might cook slower, but it will turn out better. If you decide to take a short cut and use paper and lighter fluid to get the fire started it will burn big and hot at first, but die out quickly, and the meat might not have the same natural taste. The point being that in order to make the best you that you can be, there are no shortcuts. You have to be motivated, and have the discipline to put in the hard work, day in and day out, in order to build your skills to the level that you want them to be. As a coach it is my responsibility to make sure my athletes understand that, and that they believe in that. In today’s society so many people want instant gratification, or external rewards, that if they do not get them right away they give up and try something new. I have learned that I want my athletes to love the process. We set process goals that are important to each athlete, and that makes them want to work hard toward those goals and their ultimate goal.


My coaching philosophy stems mainly  from my life experiences, and continues to develop as I gain more experience within the field. There are five guidelines that I try to live by and incorporate into coaching; establish rules and stick to them, be organized, be yourself, establish meaningful relationships, and respect others.

Establish rules and stick to them: I find it very important that rules are created and communicated so that everyone understands what is expected of them. Consequences to the rules should also be established and understood by everyone, so that if a rule is broken there is no confusion about what would follow.

Be organized: If I were to be unprepared for a practice or a game that would lead the team to believe that I did not care enough to take the time to prepare for them. Ultimately it would lead people to lose respect for me and not have interest in working with me.

Be yourself: Be true to yourself, and do not lead others on to think you are something you are not. Maintain your integrity and always be honest with others. If you are not being genuine, people will see right through that.

Establish meaningful relationships: Take the time to get to know people, who they are, and where they come from. Let them in and get to know you, build some trust. If an athlete knows that I care about them as a person not only as one of my athletes, I believe we will have a better line of communication that will roll over to the court.

Respect others: The golden rule that we are all taught as children. Respect your athletes, your co-workers, parents of your athletes, the list goes on.

Coaching Philosophy Part 2

My job as a strength and conditioning coach is to maximize the energy system demanded of my athletes as well as emphasize health and efficiency. To do so I will constantly strive for improvement as a coach. I will stay up to date and knowledgeable of new information in the strength and conditioning field regarding all aspects of the profession from lifting techniques to nutrition. I will also continue my participation in the sport of powerlifting. By doing so I will stay relevant in the lifting community and have a complete understanding of what it means to be a lifter and everything that it encompasses. Having a background in competitive lifting will also help me to gain the respect of my athletes. They will know that I am knowledgeable of all the aspects of lifting as well as what it takes to help them to reach their athletic goals.

I will also demand the highest moral character of my athletes. Not only will my athletes be expected to demonstrate proper technique and execution of lifts, but character attributes such as passion, drive, intensity and commitment. I will elicit these attributes from my athletes by demanding the highest of expectations from them. I will lead by example by continuing my competitive career as a powerlifter. I will push my athletes to reach their goals as well as hold them accountable for their performance as well as actions. I will give respect to everyone around me and carry myself with the same attributes I wish to elicit from my athletes.

Brandon Mikulecky


Coaching philosophy

My coaching philosophy consists of building men of character while winning national championships. First and foremost I want to build men that are going to be productive members of society. Respect, integrity, hard work, dedication, and leadership are what I aim to teach my athletes. Respect is a big component in life if you want to be treated with respect you must treat others with respect. Now that doesn’t just go for the opponents we face but for the people that most don’t respect. It is easy to respect the people that everybody does but to show respect to somebody that might not be as well off as you is something I think most people can learn, showing respect for the human life. I can show them how to do this by giving each athlete the up most respect, along with doing community service projects where we work with people who are not as fortunate as we are. I want to teach my athletes to live life with integrity. I want them to learn how to live with honest and strong moral values that will help them not only in wrestling but with life after wrestling. To do this I will lead by example, following both school and NCAA rules and regulations. I will also hold everybody to the same slandered regardless of their talent level or position on the team. Hard work and dedication go hand and hand when it comes to wrestling. There is no secret you must outwork your opponent every day. To do this you must have a high level of dedication because when you are working hard you need to do things right off the mat to take care of your body. Sometimes those things are not fun like eating right and taking an ice bath but it’s what you have to do in order to train hard the next day. You also have to be dedicated because you’re a college athlete so not only do you have to put a lot of time into your sport but you must do the same for school. This could be hard for the guys who are not highly dedicated because their friends and other students are going to be going out to parties and drinking something that is not going to help them in any way. So they have to be dedicated to the process and not get caught up in the outside activities. Again I will lead by example by showing them what hard work is. I will also show them my dedication by the time I spend in the office doing things like watching film and organizing practices. Lastly I want to teach my athletes to be leaders in this world. I want to show them how to take charge to get things done. Giving them the guidance they need to lead each other to success. I think I can show them over their 4 year what strong leadership is so they have a clear image of what leadership looks like. I think by teaching the athletes these skills it will lead to winning. They will have the tools necessary to complete the work needed to become champions. I think winning does a lot for a program, if you develop a winning program it is easy for the freshman to come into the system. They see what the older guys on the team are doing and what it takes to win and they follow suit.

My Coaching Philosophy

My coaching philosophy is pretty simple but yet I believe it transfers to something we all can use in our everyday lives.  It consists of the 4 L’s… Listen, Learn, Love, and Laugh.  These 4 L’s came to me while coaching at Sun Prairie High School.

Listen – Be a sponge to the information that’s around you. Absorb the endless information around you with an open heart and use it to better yourself in as many ways as possible. One of the most important abilities in life is listening. Master that skill and add it to your tool box, it’s an important one.

Learn – Be willing to learn from everyone around you. You can always learn from each and every person you come across but it’s your choice to do so. You can only gain knowledge if you are willing to learn. Learn from your choices, your mistakes, your friends, your enemies, and all that you encounter as you walk this earth to better yourself on your life journey.

Love – Be open to love and not ashamed to love something or someone. A person should find something they find love in and hold on to it.  Love keeps a person working hard and reaching to achieve greatness because they love it. Display that love and use it as fuel to guide you during the rough and tough times and challenges. Love concurs all but if you are afraid to love something you might fall for anything.

Laugh – Be able to laugh. Enjoy the things that you do, it should bring happiness and smiles to your face. Never let life or anything keep you from happiness. Laugh in those good times but also laugh during the hard times because that just might change the outcome. There are enough serious things in life to deal with so take time out to laugh and enjoy life.


I believe these 4 elements make it easy for me to coach and help students along the way. I know that everyone has their own coaching philosophy but I do believe if these 4 elements are added, it could enhance their coaching experience and help the student athlete far past the field of play. These are the 4 elements I coach by and live my life by as well.

Coaching Philosophy

Coaching Philosophy

By Nick Schneider

I believe that winning is one of the most important things in having a successful program. If you are not winning you will have problems trying to get kids that want to come out and play for your team. One of the biggest things to help you win is making sure that your players are willing to get into the weight room and to any other type of things such as speed camps, football camps to help them improve. So this ties into player development which I believe goes hand in hand with winning. If you have great players to start off with you will tend to forget about the future of your program and being able to sustain a winning tradition. I know from my personal experience is that if you can get a winning tradition started you will get the younger kids wanting to work hard and get to that level to play for you. I also believe in a program that has a very good disciplined program where if kids aren’t doing what is asked of them they understand that they will not get on the playing field. I don’t mind if one of my coaching staff is yelling at one of the kids for messing up, because now days kids are less disciplined then they used to be. This also must be show in the classroom as well as on the playing field because I won’t have kids playing for me that can’t do what is asked of them on and off the field. I believe that if a kid can’t do what he is supposed to in the classroom how will I have the faith in him to do what he is supposed to on the field. With having athletes doing other things to help make them better rounded, I don’t have a problem with this as long as they are able to take care of what I need them to do on the field. They should be able to participate in other activities to help them become better people The reason this is so hard is because when you get to the next level after high school everyone you are competing against is an all-conference or all-state player as well. When it comes to fun I feel that you should be able to have time to do things that make practice fun and work with team building at the same time. You should be able to laugh and joke with the kids but when it is time to take things serious you need to put the joking aside and take care of business. The sport of football is meant to be fun but not everything is going to be fun such as practice, running, lifting, etc. These parts of the sport are meant to get you better so you have fun when you play your games and are winning, because it is never fun to lose. I believe that you must have a disciplined program so that the kid know what your standards and expectations are so that everything is clear on what you expect out of them. With kids they always try to work the system a little bit but if you have everything clear to them they will not be able to change your wording. You will need to work out different things to make sure that the kids are following what you are saying and that they know what is going to happen if they don’t listen to what is being asked of them. As a coach you will need to look out for you athletes so that they are not putting themselves in situations that are wrong. Such as trying to play through injuries that should not be played through, As an example if your star tailback gets a concussion but is unwilling to tell you about it, you will need to have an open line of communications with your other athletes so they will be willing to say something is wrong with him and it needs to be checked out, because I feel that even though winning is very important to your program you should not sacrifice the health or life of your athlete. I think that football is a very complex sport where you will never know everything about it but must be will to adjust to different things that your opponents are doing during the game. There are many different types of looks you can get on offense and defense that you will have to be willing to learn about to make sure your kids know what to do. You will also have to have some faith in the kids that they can tell you what is going on during the game like if they have a guy over them and what technique they are playing. If it is something the other teams offense is doing your kids will have to be able to tell you if they are getting double-teamed of if they flow starts to go away from them but then the ball carrier comes back. That is what also helps make the game of football so much fun for a coach because you have to become a strategist and be willing to change what you are doing to help win. It is very hard to sit down and evaluate yourself and be fair that is where I feel the other coaches may be able to help by sitting down on the day after the game and reviewing what worked and what didn’t work. Then talking about what when wrong with different things you did and what can be done as a coaching staff to help change it and make it better. As legendary coach Mike Ditka says “My code word for teamwork is ACE: Attitude, character and enthusiasm.


Measuring success in a program is a very complicated thing to do by just looking at one thing. First off I feel wins vs. losses should be one of the most important things you look at and figuring out why you possibly lost more games then you won and what you can do to correct that. Also you will need to look at the number of kids that you have out for your program year in and year out. If the numbers are going down you will need to see why that is and do something to correct that. If you keep losing kids from your program, it will be very difficult to win consistently. The parents and the community will have an active role in deciding how your program is doing whether you want them to or not, because everyone that is not in your position always feels they could do better or know more about what is going on then you do. You will need to have a good working relationship with the coaches so that you can work together to build a winning program.


There are many reasons I want to coach football. I have always loved the sport and feel I have a pretty good knowledge base to teach the kids how to become better football players. Working with kids is something I have always enjoyed because they are fun to be around and for the most part are willing to learn about something they enjoy doing. I would also like to try and teach these kids how hard work pays off in the end by giving 110% all the time at no matter what you do in the end you will be successful. This is why I feel that coaching will allow me to stay in the sport I love and work with kids which is something I am also very passionate about.




My Philosophy Aspects

One of the most important aspects in my philosophy is respect. I believe you need to give respect to earn it back. Respect has a lot to do with treating other people how you want to be treated. This is something that was repeated to me over and over while I was growing up. It has stuck with me ever since, which is why it is now considered a main aspect in my philosophy. Respect goes both ways whether it is shown to your elders, youth, friends, family, or even just acquaintances. Again, you need to give respect before you ever expect to receive it.

Another aspect to my philosophy is commitment. In order to achieve a goal, you need to be committed to achieving the goal. I believe as long as you are completely committed to something and put your mind to it you will be able to accomplish it. While being a site supervisor at the YMCA I saw this happen a lot. Teams put commitment into each other and being competitive and they would come out on top at the end. We had one futsal team that was in second place the whole season. The championship game came and the team showed their commitment in each other. All of them had positive attitudes and ended up winning the championship game. It was great to see because you could tell how bad they wanted it by how much they came together as a team.

My final major philosophy aspect is always putting in your best effort. By putting forth your best effort a person shows their dedication and hard work. Throughout any task it is important to give your best effort. It truly does help show who you are as a person and bring out traits that you may not have known you even had. There are opportunities that open up everywhere around you if you always put out your best work. You never know when someone could be watching, so it is even more important to always try your best during everything.

My Philosophy-Part 2

What do I value?

I value honesty, honesty in personal relationships and working relationships.  I am the person that you should not ask a question that you are not ready to hear the answer. I am honest.  Sometimes my honesty has gotten me into trouble because it can come across as offensive.  I never set out to offend people and I work hard to temper my honest remarks with love.  I do my best to put the Apostle Paul’s words into practice.  “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15, NIV).  I value maturity, responsibility, and respectfulness.  I value servant-leadership.

As a servant I believe in, and value, caring for “neighbors,” whether those neighbors are next door to me or half way around the world.  I have always had the yearning to travel to a developing country to assist people with their most basic of needs, while sharing the love of Jesus Christ.  I have always had a desire to go to the mission field.  What I have discovered is that the mission field can be right in your own backyard, so to speak.  I value people and their ability to improvise, adapt and overcome, and I strive to empower those around me to discover how they can do that in their own lives.

Alan Webber (1998) shares Richard Leider’s points that people have three hungers that they spend their lives trying feed.  “The first is to connect deeply with the creative spirit of life” (p. 1).  I see this as meaning that people are looking to relate to those around them, to develop meaningful relationships.   “The second hunger is to know and express your gifts and talents” (p. 1).  Even when a person is not sure what their gift or talent is, they want to share something.  As a leader it is important for me to encourage and cultivate gifts and talents in others.  This is done by working within people’s strengths, and even their weaknesses, by giving people opportunities to explore what they love and may be good at doing.   “The third hunger is to know that our lives matter” (p. 1).  People want to know if they will be remembered when they die, what their legacy will be to future generations.  I am hopeful that my legacy will be one of truth, passion, and Godliness.


My Personal Life Philosophy

I live my life, and have always lived my life with the belief that there is THE right thing to do in any given situation and there is THE wrong thing to do in any given situation. With that being said, doing the right thing in a specific situation does not mean that the outcome will be positive, and doing the wrong thing does not mean that the outcome will be negative. This personal belief does not change for me regardless of the setting whether it is personal or a professional. Based off of my many major life experiences, both positive and negative, I have realized that the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do in every situation differ based on the person in the situation. What is right for me may be wrong for you and vice versa.

It is strange to imagine that doing the right thing could lead to a negative outcome so here is an example:

Two students, who are friends, are both in the same class. They sit next to each other for an exam. Student #1 completes the exam without cheating. Student #2 completes the exam by copying Student #1’s answers. Student #1 knew that Student #2 was going to copy his/her answers because they had previously discussed this, as to Student #2 needing to do well on the exam to pass the class. The professor suspected that Student #1 and Student #2 cheated on the exam together based off of their similar answers. Now Student #1’s and Student #2’s futures are both in jeopardy.

What was the right thing to do in this situation? What was the wrong thing to do in this situation?

My personal belief is that student #1 made the right primary choice of choosing to help his/her friend, but made the wrong secondary choice by choosing to help that friend by cheating, not only because it is against university policy, but also because it had the possibility to negatively affect Student #1’s future.

We all have different beliefs as to what is right and wrong, but we should not let these beliefs be the determining factor for how we view others or for how we act in a given situation until we look at that person/situation from both viewpoints. My philosophy summed up into one sentence is: Live your life by your own morals, values, and beliefs as you are entitled to do so, but when you come across either a person or a situation that contradicts your beliefs, try to see things through their viewpoint before making your final decision.


My Philosophy

I haven’t been around much Strength and Conditioning but this is what I want to do after school. Myself, I need to be prepared for what lies ahead. I know I will be dealing with a wide variety of student- athletes who want to become better athletes in the gym. I will need to know different strategies and tactics to help those athletes perform. I will need to be a leader.

The athletes and their coaches will look up to me. They will want to see results and I will make sure I give them the results they are looking for. These athletes will learn correct positions of the exercises, they will gain strength, power, agility, and many more skills to improve. They will be confident in themselves and will have great mental skills.

This is part of my coaching philosophy. I want these athletes to be students first, but when they are in the gym they are giving 110% and will want to achieve their goals as well as mine.

Adding on to my philosophy…

Everyone has given me some great feedback. I am really inspired by strength and conditioning coaching because of the great work they are able to accomplish. Athletes train with these people every single day. Perfecting their skills and getting better at their sports. I want to be one of these guys one day. Someone who people look up to. Someone who can help that one person train his/ her hardest and make the team. To go out there and prove themselves to the coaching staff.  The way I plan to earn trust from the people I work with is by showing them I am knowledgeable in this field. That I know what I am doing. I love being fit and I love staying active and helping my friends workout as well. So that is one way that I can earn their trust.