Coaching Holds The Key To Your Expansion

I work with coaches to help you get a 360º view of what’s going on with yourself and with your team by looking back, looking at what’s going on now, and then looking ahead. Otherwise, it’s easy for you to be so driven and forward focused that you don’t stop long enough to learn from all of the experiences you’re having.

Coaching is all about experiential education - if you include the reflection piece.

Experience → Reflection → Conclusion → Experiment (Kolb Learning Cycle)

As a leader, there are specific leadership skills you can work on to improve how you’re leading your team. Reflect on how your athletes and staff are responding to your leadership style, and experiment by adapting your behavior for a more successful outcome.

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3 Different Ways To Look At Leadership That Will Help Every Single Athlete On Your Team

One thing I hear from coaches all the time is that their team is struggling due to a lack of leadership on their team.

I ask them specifically what they mean.

They often talk about team captains who aren't doing their job "because they're afraid to hold people accountable" or a few of their seniors have "checked out...just biding their time until they’re done."

"Okay," I respond..."so, what about the rest of your team? What's the leadership like on the rest of your team?

This question usually stumps them. Because most coaches are only thinking about their team captains or seniors when they think about leadership.

And sure...it's a legitimate place to start.

If you define a leader as someone who has influence then your team captains and your senior class probably have a lot of influence on your team. And as all coaches know their influence is not always positive!

Before you throw in the towel and chalk it up to a 'lack of leadership', let's look at leadership from a different angle.

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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.  

LIKE WHEN YOU FIRST LEARNED HOW TO DRIVE...

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 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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Up Your Game This Season: 7 Leadership Skills To Master As A Coach [Part 2 - Vision and Action]

Vision and action is a leadership skill. Leaders set goals and work to achieve results. 

Most coaches are great at the vision part. 

You know where your team is going...or at least where you want them to go...or where you believe they CAN go.

You can have the best and most grandiose vision of what your team is capable of this season.

You can't go anywhere without the action.

If you aren't able to answer yes to the next three questions then this is where you can start to improve this skill.

1. Have you communicated your vision to your team?

Your athletes have a short attention span...and with as over-scheduled and distracted as they are...I'm sure you can sense it's getting shorter every day.

Plan to communicate your vision at least ten times before they even hear it.

They will roll their eyes.

They will think they've heard it before.

Be patient.

Keep repeating your vision.  Get creative in how you communicate it.  Make it fun!

By the fourth or fifth time your team hears it, it begins to seem real. Adjust your barometer from, "Do I really have to say this again?" to "I've said it six times, only four more to go."

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