My youngest son, Paul, plays high school lacrosse as a goalie. He’s a junior this year and has played varsity since freshman year. He also plays and received his start and foundation and continued skill development from the coach of his club team. My son plays very well for a team that plays very well and will be playing this year in Florida in the National Championship tournament series.
I remember when Paul switched teams after being selected to play for this team and this coach. He was probably just 11 years old at the time and the other parents who knew the “new” coach warned me in this way. “You don’t want Paul to play for him, he doesn’t let the kids have fun, he just wants them to win.” or “If Paul doesn’t do good, he’s not going to play him so don’t expect to see him on the field.” Those warnings didn’t sound like warnings to me…they sounded like life lessons that the “new” coach had as a coaching philosophy. I was interested.
A large industry has grown up around the idea of coaching. I’m quite sure coaching of all kinds has been going on for ages, but with the internet it’s certainly more visible. There’s real estate coaching, investment coaching, business coaching, executive coaching, and of course sports coaching. I was never involved in organized sports, though I wanted to be growing up, so I never had a sports coach. The closest I’ve had to a coach have been leaders who were further along in the career path I was in, guiding me along that path; or books I’ve read and classes I’ve taken from leaders in various fields including some of those above.
It can be very tempting to participate in these classes or coaching sessions and then find oneself saying “ya, that doesn’t work.” If one is about to say that, stop…admit it was just for informational purposes you participated and move on to something else, but don’t say it doesn’t work. It’s not enough to just be on the team, payroll, or what have you. If you aren’t going to perform, the coach or boss won’t put you in or keep you on. Likewise, if you invest in these coaching sessions yourself, it’s not enough to just get the information…you’ll need to act…to perform…to be coach-able.