Overcome Overwhelm Before Your Season Gets Even Busier

Here are few things I've heard from coaches this week...I'm wondering if you can relate?

  • "I'm so overwhelmed. I have so much to do. I don't have enough time to get it all done!!!"

  • "I'm running around...I can't even find time to eat. I'm trying not to bite someone's head off!"

  • "Things are falling through the cracks. There aren't enough hours in the day. I'm freaking out!"

That's why, when I work with coaches, one of the first things we do during our work together is begin to implement strategies and habits that help you reduce the number of days when you feel completely overwhelmed. 

Because here's the thing...if you're a coach, overwhelm is not going to ever go away.

Imagine...the coach...who sits back in her chair, stretches out her legs, crosses her feet up on her desk with her hands behind her head and says,

"Woo hoo! I'm not overwhelmed! Everything is out of my inbox, I've made all the decisions I need to make, and things are running on autopilot! This job rocks! It's SO easy!"

Think about it. That's never going to happen!

That's because you're a coach.

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How You Build And Break Trust On Your Team

Teambuilding begins with trust. 

If your athletes don't trust you as the coach...or trust one another:

  • they won't engage in healthy conflict

  • they won't fully commit to team goals

  • they won't be willing to hold each another accountable

  • and your overall results this season will suffer

Trust is important. Yet, you can spend time talking about trust - and get no where. 

Maybe you think your athletes SHOULD trust you - because you're the coach. You can tell them they NEED to trust each other. That sounds great. Here are four other questions your athletes may be wondering about when they're deciding whether or not to trust you:

  1. Are you telling me the truth?

  2. Is there information you're withholding from me?

  3. How do you make decisions?

  4. How can I influence big decisions that effect me (...and is that even possible?)

What most coaches don't realize is how fragile trust can be. Trust is built (and broken) in the smallest of moments.

When athletes don't trust you...they won't trust you have their best interests in mind. They may also not trust that they can be themselves, ask for what they need, be vulnerable, and talk openly to you.

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Up Your Game This Season: 7 Leadership Skills to Master As A Coach (Part 7 of 7: Tolerance for Adversity and Uncertainty)

Kerry and I had just moved to Bellingham - back in 2011.  We went for our first backpacking trip together up in the Mt. Baker backcountry.  We planned to do a loop around an area called the Chain Lakes.  

It wasn't a super long loop - just enough for us to get a taste of the area and amazing views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan.  We were about 500 yards from our campsite for the night when Kerry took a bad step from snow onto some slippery willow.  

She knew immediately that she had broken her lower leg.  

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Up Your Game This Season: 7 Leadership Skills To Master As A Coach [Part 6 - Competence]

Competence = your ability to perform a skill in a way that produces the desired results.

To gain competence as a coach you need two things: experience and training.

Like any skill you'll develop competency on your own timeline.  

You may learn faster than other coaches.  

You might require different types of experiences to become more competent in certain areas of your job.  


Think back to when you first learned to drive.  You started off as a novice and went through the next four stages as you gained knowledge and experience.  

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Up Your Game This Season: 7 Leadership Skills to Master As A Coach [Part 5 - Teamwork]

If you are operating on your own without anyone else to consider then it's easy to focus in on your goals, needs, and wants.

You can't be a lone wolf AND a team player.

When you're part of a team (even a team of two) it changes everything.

Your goals, needs, and wants are only part the equation.

The way you behave when you're part of a team is a leadership skill.  Some people naturally have this skill and are really good at it.  Other people struggle...and can improve.

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Up Your Game This Season: 7 Leadership Skills To Master As A Coach [Part 4 - Judgement & Decision Making]

As a coach, you are continually developing judgement.  You can learn from every decision you make.

The coaches I work with often want to know if they are making the 'right' decision.

If you're intentions are positive then it's less about making a right or wrong, good or bad decision...it's more about what you decide to do next. 

Think of it more like R & D (research and development).

Judgement and decision-making go hand in hand.  Both are skills that can be developed, fine tuned, and improved.

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