Loyalty

Loyalty is the state of being supportive and keeping allegiance. In sports, it means committing to a team for the long-term despite having opportunities to switch teams. Many coaches have shown to be disloyal, always ditching teams to move up the ladder. Some coaches choose to reject offers from other teams and stay loyal to their team. There are pros and cons to loyalty.

The pros of disloyalty are pretty obvious. Coaches ditch their teams to for better jobs. While some people think this is selfish, it can also be viewed as rational. At the end of the day, people need to do what’s best for them and their families. If a coach wants a higher paying job in a better location, at a school/team with more tradition, good for them. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with having large goals. And this can also be good for the smaller schools/teams where the coach currently coaches for. These disloyal coaches are also very motivated to do well at their current school, because if they don’t do well, they won’t be able to get better jobs. Yes, the school may feel betrayed when a coach ditches them, but they should also appreciate the success that they brought.

However, there are cons to disloyalty. If you are known for ditching teams for better jobs, then your current team may suspect that you will do the same to them once you get the chance. Loyalty is reciprocal. If people sense that you’re not loyal, they won’t be as loyal to you. You see this in recruiting a lot. Why would a player want to commit to you if they think you may be gone within a couple of years?

This brings me to the pros of loyalty. When you’re loyal to a team, your team will be loyal to you. If you express your loyalty and back it up with actions, your team will greatly appreciate you. They will be more loyal to you and will be less likely to fire you when they have the chance. Most importantly, it increases continuity, team cohesion, and team chemistry, which greatly helps your team succeed. A team that sticks together for a long time becomes stronger. Also, psychologically, loyalty can be good. It feels good to be loyal. It builds your relationship with a community. You can become a legend at your school/city. It also makes you feel better about your integrity.

However, there are some cons to loyalty. First of all, it isn't always the smartest choice to reject a good offer from another team. You may regret not taking this opportunity. But there is another subtle con to loyalty. Loyalty can sometimes lead to complacency and boredom. If you don't have the motivation to move up the ladder, then you may not work as hard. If you know your team won't fire you because of loyalty, then you may lack urgency. And if you stay at the same school for a long time, you may get bored and lose excitement/passion. You can still maintain a high level of motivation at the same school for a long time, but it can be challenging.

I personally support both sides of the loyalty argument equally. I think you should always strive for bigger and better jobs, but at some point, you also need to settle down and be loyal. You shouldn't always be looking to advance and ditch your school, but you also shouldn't settle too low. The best path in my opinion is in the middle. Once you get to a certain point on the ladder, and you find a team that is a great fit for you and your family, I think you should commit to being loyal. Take the time to build a culture, a powerhouse, and become a legend at your school. Enjoy the sense of belonging and integrity that you get from loyalty. As you think about your long-term goals, consider the role of loyalty. This topic of loyalty can also be applied to athletes, not just coaches.

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