Several years ago I started working with a veteran coach, we will call Tim.
When I started working with Tim, he had had quite a bit of success. As we started working together I saw quickly that he was a really good coach, was great relationally with his athletes, and had a great vision.
However, he was unhealthy. Not just physically unhealthy but also internally. His priorities always seemed a little out of order (and sometimes a lot out of order).
We immediately dug into trying to find out two things: what his ‘why’ is and what his true identity is. As we dug into his ‘why’ (why he coaches), it became apparent that his ‘why’ was unhealthy because his identity was inaccurate.
He was walking in a false identity. We spent time figuring out who he really was. As that got aligned, so to did his ‘why’.
He is still a really really successful coach AND is healthy physically and internally.
Now I simply act as a sounding board and as someone who reminds him when I see misplaced identity.
Another coach I work with, I’ll call him Mark, was a head coach who lived off of his recruiting prowess. He had moved up the ladder because he could really recruit. That is great, but when you are the head coach, you not only need to recruit but you also need to lead… and he struggled with that.
We spent a lot of time re-working his perspective in two areas. The first was what it looks like to “work in” vs “work on” your program.
Along with that, we also spent a lot of time working on clarity. Whether that be clarity with the overall vision and values of his program, clarity with staff decisions, clarity in recruiting, etc.
Mark would get lost in the trees of the forest and had to learn how to pull up above the tree line for greater clarity. He was no longer a worker, he was now a leader and leaders get paid for seeing things clearly.
As he became more aware of what he needed to do to consistently have clarity, he has grown into a leader who sees clearly where his program needs to go and how to lead it there.
And lastly, I share the story of a coach we will call Tina. She too had been massively successful.
When I started working with Tina I could see one of the many patterns that I see with coaches*.
To this point, she had not been aware of this pattern that had minimized her leadership and prevented her from taking the next step in her career.
We all have strengths (I will call our strengths ‘gold’). Often times those strengths, when overplayed, are our constraints (I will call those ‘shadows’).
In Tina’s situation, we worked on enhancing her gold and also addressed the shadow. I gave her some tools to help minimize her constraints and some checkpoints to avoid her unhealthy patterns.
She is now aware and has taken the next step in her career.
* The more I work with coaches, the more I see consistent patterns.