Focus for coaches: Part 1 - Save your best for the things that matter most

My college coaches (who happened to be married to each other) had one rule about work: don’t talk about it during dinner. For one hour of the day at least, rowing was off the table. The other 23 hours of the day were apparently fair game.

With all the stresses of coaching, it’s no wonder they had to set rules and boundaries to even give themselves time to enjoy dinner.

Unfortunately, their story is not unique.

As I work with high performers in all walks of life—executives, entrepreneurs, doctors, coaches, and athletes—one thing sticks out: we always feel we need more time.

But do we?

In this three-part article series, Focus for Coaches, I want to introduce you to a new way of thinking: that you don’t need more time, you need more focus in the time you have.

I want to give you real tools to help prioritize your never ending to-do list so you can get more done in less time.

And, yes, you CAN do this. First, let’s take a look at

The reality of being a coach

As a coach, you don’t just coach. You act as counselor, social worker, mediator, friend, and even second parent to your athletes. If you are employed by a school program, you are likely a manager and mentor to other staff, and are possibly a teacher or administrator as well. And then the business of sports requires you to manage media and fan relations, fundraising, and recruiting.

If the huge number of responsibilities isn’t enough, you are also under tremendous pressure to succeed from a variety of sources, sometimes with conflicting agendas. For example:

  • Athletes may disagree with your strategies or their role on the team.
  • Parents may push for more playing time for their son or daughter.
  • School administrators may pressure you to cut back practice time to improve your athletes’ academic performance.
  • Your fan base wants wins at any cost.
  • Your family and/or spouse are depending on your position and salary for their livelihood.

Given all these influences, it’s not surprising that you invest so many hours in your work. But, like the couple introduced at the start of this article, we should save our best for the things that matter most.

I encourage you to think on that over the next couple of days—what your best is, and what matters most to YOU—and in the next Focus for Coaches article we’ll discuss why you shouldn't try to do it all, even if it is what you want to do sometimes.  

Read the next article in this Focus for Coaches series HERE.


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