You might have seen or heard the term “life coach” and wondered if this is anything like regular sports coaching. Actually, sports coaches and parents can learn a lot from this profession that will definitely help their athletes performance at any age.
First off, what is life coaching?
It’s guiding, assisting, and inspiring you to close a gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
In my opinion, the biggest value of any coach or trainer is in providing accountability.
Nobody really needs a personal trainer to work out in a gym for more than a couple sessions to learn how to do the exercises and use equipment, right? Yet, people continually hire personal trainers for long periods of time just to push them and keep them on track. Without the personal trainer, people just stop going to the gym when they don’t feel like it. But when they’ve paid for one and have an appointment, they go even when they aren’t up for it because they made the commitment to themselves.
There is no question that us humans do better when we have another person holding us to our own commitments and spurring us on continuously to getting our goals. Life coaches really emphasize that in their work, whereas many sports coaches teach and expect the athlete to be self-motivated and if they aren’t, then there’s another athlete ready to take his/her place.
This can be as simple as an athlete committing to, let’s say, running 10 miles a week for training. The first thing a life coach is going to begin a session with is asking the athlete whether or not he/she got those 10 miles in during the week.
Another thing life coaches do is getting the athlete to come up with their own solutions rather than tell them what they think they should do. I’ve worked with thousands of athletes now and there is one universal principle that I truly believe about all of them:
Ultimately every person has the answers to their own questions
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you know everything there is to know. It does mean that you have the ability to find out anything you want to know! In this age of the internet and telecommunication, there is no excuse for lack of information. Similarly, there is also no excuse for lack of money.
“It’s never a lack of resources, it’s your lack of resourcefulness that stops you.”
Tony Robbins (life coach who works with world leaders)
As you know, coaches have many objectives to achieve during a season besides just training and teaching you. They have to manage logistics of a team or club, evaluate talent on an ongoing basis, and assist all of their athletes to become better performers.
Generally speaking, life coaching is a much more personal process than typical sports coaches use.
A life coach can help you with:
Getting over your fears
Balancing your sports with other obligations
Building relationships that get you to the next level (ie, college recruiters and coaches)
Financing for training, travel and private coaches
Finding the ideal fit for your next team or school
Getting through personal struggles while training
Mental tactics and perspectives that keep you focused
Meshing your spiritual or religious beliefs with your sport
Truthfully, you could benefit from having both sports and life coaching support and sometimes, private skills coaches can serve that function nicely and I highly recommend them.
Athletes – -bottom line: the more support, accountability, and skills training you can add to your desire and passion to achieve, the more you will have an advantage over your competition. Take another look at that list above and see where you need guidance and inspiration.
Coaches and parents: that list above is just for starters and it’s been proven that the common denominator of successful athletes are those that have this kind of support to deal with all of that.
Let’s do this,
Mental Toughness Trainer
P.S. If you want to work with a skilled life coach who also knows sports and mental toughness, then I highly recommend Wendy Lynne.