All coaches must answer this question: Why do I coach? I am a high school football coach, so it is not for the money or for the fame. When I first started coaching, it was all about my ego and how well my players performed. Now, there is nothing wrong with taking pride in your players performance, but I am still learning to take my ego out of the equation.
I once had a friend tell me, "Players want to please their coach and are trying with all of their might to excel." It is important that I remember what it was like to be a player (offensive lineman) so I can effectively coach my players. Now, playing and coaching are very different and sometimes great players are not great coaches and vice versa. However, in order to be a great coach we must have empathy towards our players and remember what it was like to play the game.
Lastly, having empathy for our players does not mean we are "soft" as coaches. We must demand excellence out of our players if we truly care for them, and that requires hard work and discipline. It is a delicate balance between having empathy and demanding excellence, but it is necessary if we want to become great coaches.