What habits are you bringing in this season? Part 2 of 3

written by Erica Quam

This article is part 2 in a 3-part series on habits. This week we're looking at support.

  • PRODUCTIVITY 
  • SUPPORT - This week we'll focus on support.
  • SELF CARE

People operate from a very different place when they don't have support. Life can be hard. Things can get lonely....especially in the cut-throat world of athletics. Make it a habit to line up a strong support system for yourself!

1.  SET YOUR OWN GOALS

Get in the habit of setting your own goals.

It's easy as a coach to focus so much on our teams and forget about ourselves.  The reality is, the more you work on yourself, the better YOU will be for others.  

What are YOUR goals for the season - not your team's goals, not your athletic department's goals...what do you want to accomplish this year for YOU?

If you're struggling to set goals for yourself, take a look at the Wheel of Life tool. What area do you need to even out for your wheel to look more like a circle? Start there.

GET SUPPORT: As you set your goals in that area, reach out to someone you admire who would rank themselves high in the area where you want to improve. Find out how they do it. 

2.  COMPLAIN LESS

The average person complains between 15 and 30 times per day. People complain because 1) it makes them feel better (in the short term) 2) misery likes company and 3) everyone does it. 

Why change?

  1. Energy flows where attention goes. Complaining creates a constant flow of negative energy.
  2. Complaining is just a distraction. It wastes time and keeps us stuck. It gives us a good excuse not to change. 
  3. Live creatively - not reactively. Be a leader - not a reactor. 

GET SUPPORT:  It can be tough to stop the habit of complaining - especially if you have people in your life you complain to and vice versa. Find someone who will do this with you. Then, surround yourself with more positive people. You'll be amazed at the different energy you'll experience in life! 

3. CREATE MOMENTUM

During the middle of your season when challenges begin to pile up, it's easy to lose sight of the reasons you coach.  

Here are a few ideas to keep you out of that funk:

  • 3 Reasons: Write down a few of the reasons you coach while you are fresh, energized, and optimistic. Pull this list out to remind yourself on those difficult days!
  • 90/10 Rule: Focus on the 90% that's going well instead of the 10% that's not. On the days that are the hardest, before you leave your office to go home, write down a list of 3 people that day who did what you asked, accomplished something new, stepped up as a leader, or said thank you. Too many times we focus on the person who made our lives (and the team's lives) challenging. They don't deserve that much of your time or energy. 
  • Smile file: Start a smile file. When you get a thank you card, an email, or something that makes you smile...put it in there. If someone tells you they appreciate about you, write it down. During those times when you wonder why you coach, pull out your file to help you remember.

GATHER SUPPORT: Find an accountability buddy who you can call when you start to slide and you find yourself getting tired and frustrated. (Note: make sure it's someone who will help you get back on track - rather than someone who will just commiserate with you!)

What will you do to line up more support for yourself this season? Share one thing you will do in the comments below.


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Erica Quam is the Founder of the Coaching Experience, where she teaches athletic coaches how to think more strategically about coaching, how to balance the demands of their career, and how to create a life that they enjoy.