[Part five] Your coaches survival kit: 5 essentials to take with you this season

Equip yourself with these five key essentials to help you survive and thrive this year as a coach.

  1. Map & Compass (Vision & Values) 

  2. First Aid Kit (Plan for the Unexpected)

  3. Food & Water (Fuel yourself first)

  4. Headlamp (Tolerance for adversity)

  5. Shelter from the Elements (Permission)

If you were actually going on an expedition into the wilderness, you'd have a range of elements from mother nature to prepare for: sun, wind, rain, sleet, snow...and whatever else she decides to throw at you. 

Before you head out on your trip and leave yourself exposed...bring a few essentials to protect yourself: sunscreen, warm layers, a hat and gloves, rain-gear, a wind layer, and a protective shelter to sleep comfortably or hunker down inside when things get too rough.

How does this metaphor relate to you as a coach heading into your season?

There will be times during your season when you need to shelter yourself from the elements by giving yourself permission to take care of yourself this season, first.

You'll have plenty of times when you feel overwhelmed - at all the elements and situations coming at you this season. This is part of coaching. Rather than struggle against them, give yourself permission to deal with them in more effective ways.

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Even Coaches Need Permission

Brené Brown (one of my favorite authors & researchers) has what I call a regular 'permission slip practice.' She carries slips of paper in her pockets for things she needs to give herself permission to do.

When she met Oprah for the first time, she allowed herself 'to be giddy and excited.' As a researcher, she struggled to be herself and show this goofier side...until she gave herself permission. Then, she had a blast! No one cared that she didn't 'fit the mold' of a researcher.

How can coaches use permission slips

There are a lot of unwritten expectations that come with a coaching career. Maybe they stem from your previous experiences as an athlete - what you saw your coaches do. They can come from experiences as a young coach - what your mentors taught you. They also come from outside pressures - what your athletes, administration, or even your alum think you "should do".

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