A coach is a person who corrects without criticizing in a negative way. Not all criticism is bad – sometimes, it’s meant to point out things you cannot see because you are too close to them. Old habits can be hard to break because they are things we’ve done for so long they don’t quite reach our consciousness any more. The habit of eating too fast, for instance – may have developed from a seemingly harmless incident. When I was a kid, if you ate too slowly, you might either miss getting enough food or you might miss the post-dinner outing in the summer to a neighborhood park or out for a bike ride.
Sometimes those who have served in the military have trained themselves to eat fast because there are lots of other people who need to move through the cafeteria and be served, so there isn’t time to linger over a meal and take your time with it. Emergency responders like police and fire fighters are sometimes “trained” the same way – eat fast, and you’ll be sure to get the full meal in before something happens, an alarm sounds, and off you go.
A coach will come along side of you and teach you how to see what may be right in front of you but still not obvious…like a habit of eating too fast or turning to the wrong foods. Hopefully, if you are reading this blog, you’ve made great strides in conquering your challenges where your eating habits (and speed) are concerned, but what other unconscious habits have you developed that you don’t even see anymore?
An old friend of mine constantly said disparaging things about herself to nearly anyone that would listen. She had been in a difficult relationship where her then-significant-other made negative comments about her, and they hurt so much she started trying to “beat him to the punch” so to speak – figuring that if she said it first, he would not say anything, and she didn’t have to hear the voice of the man she loved saying hurtful things about her. What she may not have realized – and what YOU may not realize – is that hearing negative from your OWN VOICE is much more damaging that what others say about you.
A coach will lead – often by example – and work hard to understand their “players”, get their perspective, and add to it to form a more complete picture. They have very often “been there, done that” and lived through similar circumstances as those they coach. Learning how to play a sport from a person who is a former Olympian in that sport is one of the best ways to improve and increase performance.
Artists and musicians tap into the knowledge of those around them who have done what they want to do and have achieved what they want to achieve in order to learn what worked for the successful individual. Not everyone can duplicate the exact successes of their coach, but by sharing the experience, we hope that something will be passed along that will help the person being coached. A coach will pave the way ahead, foreseeing potential challenges and adding value – but they can only move as fast as the person they are helping. No coach can ‘push’ you to do something you don’t WANT to do…they CAN help you to cross artificial boundaries that you’ve placed on yourself by adding that extra dose of belief…belief in you, your strength, your potential to accomplish your goals, and by building on the successes you’ve already experienced.
A coach can bring a fresh perspective and help you to take ownership of your situation. No matter what the situation you find yourself in, a coach can help you move to the next level. Take a look at the plans you’ve put into place to move yourself forward this year and see if there are areas where your motivation is flagging, your will to succeed seems to be waning, and you find yourself getting weary.
A coach might be just what you need to re-fire your engines and get your motivation back into gear.