I wanted to create this blog because I want to share information and I want to have a depository of knowledge for people looking to be coaches, mentors, or leaders of any sort. This content is going to be mostly about coaching (what I do for a living) I am also a Marine and have led 100s of Marines over the years. So I thought, ok- how did I get where I am? People always ask me how I got to where I am and when I realized that I knew I could make a difference in other people’s lives. I get questions about this a lot. People contact me in all ways (text, FB and Instagram messenger, through my websites, etc.) and ask. They are trying to better themselves. And the better version you are of yourself, the better you can affect others.
I saw a need to impact coaches in a way that most certification programs only hint at. There are lots of programs out there to develop leaders in various areas (business, school, etc.) But what I haven’t seen addressed is how we impact people on a different level- how do we get to know their lives. Within this given relationship of athlete-coach, there has to be some type of personal connection there for the information to be able to flow easily. People try to force all types of relationships (forcing a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship just because somebody looks good, for example)- but what do they have to give to you over time? When the shininess of the euphoria dissipates, what is there left to offer for the long run? It’s the same with coaching. Athletes are looking for coaches with certifications and the coaches are looking for the results their athletes can produce, but there is nothing out there for how to find and foster a connection. How can a coach say he wants to help an athlete when he doesn’t even know who they are? How do you foster that relationship?
What you need is compassion, empathy, and respect for one another. Then you can actively listen and hear what is really being said by each side so there’s not a miscommunication based on a lack of communication. That sounds like some old-time politician talk, but it’s a fact. We as athletes (including myself, because I’m an athlete as well) are looking for this in coaches- what is their certification? But the certification doesn’t make the coach valuable or relevant. It’s their passion for their own self-betterment so they can pass that knowledge and wisdom on to the athlete. It’s not about their knowledge about training. It’s their ability to organize chaos. What does that mean? Chaos in minds, emotions, and bodies. The coach helps the athlete manage their personal chaos in a way that helps them organize their life in a way that gives them the best results in training and on race day.
If we keep overlooking the personal side of coaching and keep focusing on certifications and numbers, there’s a whole part that athletes are going to be missing because we’re only focusing on one side of the spectrum. If they’re going to have success on both sides of the spectrum, WE have to focus on both.
Hopefully this blog will help people understand and look within themselves and decide, “Maybe I can do this better”. I want people to take a look within themselves. Most times coaches think that the athlete is the issue, but they aren’t. I know most coaches will disagree with me here, but if the athlete doesn’t understand it’s a sign of poor leadership. We as coaches believe that we hold information that the athlete doesn’t have and that it’s our responsibility to see things they don’t see. So, when the athlete doesn’t get or understand that information, that’s on us. We need to take a look at our approach.
When we accept athletes that don’t fit our philosophy or way of coaching, we are setting them back. Let’s say you talk to an athlete- that one phone conversation most coaches have before taking on an athlete- and there’s one thing that you couldn’t put your finger on that makes you think it wouldn’t be a good fit. An intelligent coach would back away and ask more questions to make sure. And if it becomes clear that the athlete doesn’t fit your expectations or coaching philosophy, you need to be able to say, “This relationship wouldn’t be good for either one of us, and you should be looking for THIS in a coach”. Don’t just accept the athlete anyway because they’re going to pay you. It’s hard because you have to take on athletes to learn as a coach, and you have to get paid to survive. But for longevity in this career, you have to take on quality athletes to thrive (you and them). Through this blog, you’ll find that there are athletes that can actually improve the athlete-coach relationship. I’ll also teach coaches how to be a better coach.
Should athletes read this blog too? Absolutely. I’ll write things that coaches should be doing so athletes can see what kind of coaches they should be looking for or should be hiring. How many times have we heard athletes ask how they find a good coach, what they should be looking for in a coach, or how they know what they should be getting from a coach? We hear it all the time. So there’s just as much information here for athletes so they know what to look for and they know what coaches should be doing.
This may challenge some people’s way of coaching. Some of you may think, “I shouldn’t have to worry about how an athlete feels or about their family life. This is just about training.” Guess what? Nobody can ever be 100% of what they could be if they’re overlooking their personal lives. How can they be present for training if you’re not helping them work through their personal lives as well?
Coaching is more than just a training plan. It’s a way of life. It’s involving your values, principles and the things you hold dear. How do you make mentally strong athletes? The naturally athletic people can be naturally physically gifted, but their mental/emotional fitness is what makes them STRONG. To be able to drive when it hurts the most and to stay strong- those are things we need to address as well. We’re mostly dealing with age groupers in triathlon coaching. They are leading double (or even 3-4x) lives. They’re doing so many things (mothers, fathers, spouses, entrepreneurs, CEOs, etc) that there has to be harmony in their lives. It’s hard to balance everything, but we can find harmony in what we do and help them find harmony as well.
The key is not to try to change the whole world. It’s to help a few people see things they’ve ever seen. It’s to build relationships that will outlast business. And that’s what I think the key to coaching success is.
"THE PEOPLES COACH"