I think we should celebrate the fact that we’ve changed.
If we’re still operating the same way we did years ago, we’re not getting better. We might not be getting worse, either, but staying the same is probably not what’s best.
I’m always surprised that people are surprised that I’ve changed.
Does it need to be?
Does coaching need to feel out of reach of anyone? Should it feel like one needs to have years of training, and that many of us will never be ready?
Yes, coaches need to be trained. Trained in the skills of the game and in keeping players safe and teams as safe places to operate, but do we need to have all of the answers?
I’d argue that if we are good at asking questions we will get better at seeing the answers…for the time being, until we have better questions.
Raise your hand.
Everything happens before it happens.
Your perception of “the present” likely is actually around things that have already happened or are about to happen.
Is it possible to Live In The Moment? Sure, but the moment includes time that’s gone by and things to come.
Let’s not get caught up in whether we’re doing a good job of being in the present or not and enjoy whatever the experience is, with the people we’re with.
Teams only go around once.
You probably suggest lots of great mental tools to your players. Most sport coaches understand the value of a strong mental game for their athletes.
Visualization and other forms of imagery, controlled and intentional breathing or being in the moment, understanding self-talk and other techniques are in most coach’s toolboxes for their players.
How about you? Do you teach these things? Do you use those same tools for yourself?
Are you leaving something on the table in your own preparation?
Why not use the same tools you ask players to use?
The idea of “not arriving”, that there is no such thing, provides me so much calmness.
We are so often chasing something, without realizing that it’s the chase that is the important part.
Churchill is quoted as saying, “To improve is to change, to perfect is to change often,”.
How often can you assess and tweak and change often?
Where to start?!
Even within a great team, each individual is running their own race.
She might also be a part of a relay, running the team’s race, but for sure she is running her own race.
Our starting lines vary, our pace ebbs and flows until we find a rhythm.
Encouraging each player to run well–to be healthy and efficient–while still being able to cheer the others on–that’s one way coaches can help move the entire entourage down the course.
Usually there are a lot of moving parts–which is better than parts that are frozen in time.
Find ways to cheer for the team and for every racer.
What can I get you?
How can I help?
What do you need?
Asking (and answering) these questions is not always easy and not always at the front of our mind. As people we typically think of our own needs and wants first, and as coaches are wired to see the answers for others. So, asking for input and demanding that others consider what they want and need–and hold them to it–is a novel idea.
The idea of serving your people isn’t simply bringing them ideas and gifts. It’s allowing exploration and demanding that they show up for themselves.
Are you a teacher? How about a learner?
Are you looking for ways to do things better, or looking to be sure people do things your way?
Coaching is a noble profession, and many of us take pride in being teachers! We teach our sport and we teach “life lessons” through our programs.
What lessons are we learning?
Deep into my coaching career I looked up and realized that I’d been teaching for years and not learning much at all. Yes, experience served as a great teacher but I was not doing any intentional learning. And, certainly I had not asked my people to teach me.
Learning to be a learner has been the most important factor in turning a career into ongoing passion.
What about you?
Coaching Is Hard. Fact.
Wanting both to control “all of the situations” and have teams in which people were making suggestions and giving input…these two things struggle to coexist.
Are you really giving your people room to own things on your team? Do they have actual ability to impact change? Do you have a history of soliciting input, asking for ideas?
If not, can you really expect them to own this thing that they don’t really have a piece of?
Who gets to help shape your program?
Who doesn’t get to? Who is supposed to show up and shut up?
Who MUST contribute?
Think about how you want your program to be, to become, to feel to those who come near it.
Think about it, write it down, and share it.
You’ll probably think today’s version is lacking, or even terrible, at some future date. That’s ok. Think about it, write it down, share it and see what happens.