Three fundamentals for coaches

written by Erica Quam

At the beginning of each season, coaches often go back to the basics with their team. The focus is on the fundamentals...the building blocks...the essentials. Once the basics have been reviewed, the next skill or level of training can be introduced.

So, what are the basics for coaches? What fundamentals can you go back and work on so that you can take your coaching career to the next level?

1. The more we love and appreciate ourselves, the more love and appreciation we will be able to have and share with others.

It's easy to write a gratitude list - to list things & people we are grateful for. It's much harder to acknowledge things we specifically like and appreciate about ourselves. That takes it to a whole new level.

Let's face it - we're hard on ourselves! We can be overly attached to external results and weighted down by expectations. 

What to try:

Write a letter to yourself - like you are writing to a friend, partner, or family member. What would you want to say to let them know they are loved and appreciated? What can you acknowledge about yourself that recognizes the good work that you do and the efforts you bring? Write this to yourself. 

The exercise of writing this down can be powerful. Then seal it up, put it away, and select a date on your calendar to open it sometime during the season - as an incredible reminder to yourself.

2. Growth begins with us.

I love the quote by Albert Einstein, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

What area are you willing to grow - as a coach - and what would that look like to you? Begin to define success on your own terms - rather than by the expectations of others.

What to try:

Look at your strengths. What area are you good at and really enjoy? How can you build on it? What can you do to get new ideas and a fresh perspective? Who can you collaborate with and give you support?

  • Teaching
  • Leadership
  • Team Building 
  • Mentoring 
  • Managing
  • Organizing
  • Community Service 
  • Alumni Development

Choose one area from above, write three actionable steps you can take to expand in this area, and add this to your schedule.

3. Don't forget the things that ground you.

Stop using busy as an excuse. When you are overwhelmed, overtired, or burned out the tendency is to put the nose to the grindstone and just keep plowing through. There’s a point where you will just end up spinning your wheels. Instead of continuing to DO...you have to stop and just BE. What would it be like to pause and re-connect with yourself - even for five minutes?

What to try:

  • Take a walk outside and connect with nature - look, listen, and feel
  • Listen to one of your favorite songs
  • Write a gratitude list
  • Lie down with your legs up the wall or calves on a chair & pay attention to your breath.    
  • Write a thank you card to someone
  • Seated meditation - wherever you are - sit up tall, close your eyes, & breathe. Let your exhale be twice as long as the inhale.

Get back to the essence of who you are and why you coach. Get back to the basics.

Which one will you try FIRST? Share in the comments below.