What can coaches learn from the business world

written by Erica Quam

The C-Suite is made up of the CEO's, CFO's, COO's...and all the other chief...<fill-in-the blank>...officers.  It may sound like a bunch of mumbo jumbo business jargon to people within athletics. These worlds SEEM so different. However, there are some well-established practices in the business world that athletics could use & adopt.  Just look at a these 5 things - from two successful companies: Google & Zappos - who have implemented these systems and practices to create a great team culture. 


1.  Exchange feedback regularly

Instead of saving a performance review until the very end of the season, take the time to give and receive more regular feedback within your coaching staff - say every 4 to 6 weeks. If you have set this intention, schedule it, and implement a structure for these brief meetings to take place, it makes feedback (both good and bad) easier for everyone. Plus there's more transparency, better communication, and usually keeps people more accountable (and thus more motivated). 

2.  Support the growth and dreams of your staff

I believe that continual growth is necessary for the human spirit to regularly experience joy in the workplace - even (and especially) as a coach.  Make room to focus on what you enjoy most and find out what that would look like for your other coaches.  Support their dreams, and they will grow your team.  Sure - there are always tasks that are "have to's" - but see how can you divide those up & fully utilize all of your resources - so that each person on your staff can spend more time & energy on their "genius work".

3.  Coaches Offsite.  

Companies do what they call "off-site" meetings and events to connect and collaborate away from the office.  Why don't more coaches do this?  There is a lot you can learn from getting out of your normal routine and away from your work environment - especially heading into a brand new season.  It can be simple and powerful for everyone to get on the same page as a unified team.

4.  Have a mission & live it

The characteristic that I swear by is living the mission every day. Oftentimes, people join your team because you are doing something different or you’re doing something the way no one has done it before.  How can you keep that vision during the ups and downs of the season and stay committed to living it everyday?  As a team, see if you can define that mission together.  Maybe this can be where you start with your first coaches offsite!

5.  Mastermind groups

People in the business world participate in "Mastermind Groups".  These groups help you "realign" yourself so you don't fall back into old mindsets, habits, ruts, and distractions. Masterminds meet regularly because it's so easy to get out of alignment. Structure brings you back around.  

There’s a caveat.  “You can’t rub a bunch of unfocused people together and get focus.”In other words, you want to be in a group that has the language, the awareness, and the training to be able to propel you forward with their accelerating wisdom. (Rather than slamming you with their limiting beliefs and doubts.)  This means that a great mastermind group also comes with training so that each person is aligning with a system or structure so that they can even BE a resource to you.  

My hope is that the world of athletics will tap into some of these common and accepted practices from the business world - so that more of these resources are much more accessible, available, & utilized by coaches.  And maybe as a result we can keep coaches in the game longer!

Has this article inspired you?  Please pass it along!  Do you have any insight or ah-ha's that you got from reading it?  Share 'em below!