Coach Yourself First

Published on January 1st, 2011

I loved being a coach. There was something so rewarding at helping an athlete realize their true potential. I say realize because it was never fair or accurate to take credit for their success. It was always inherent within them to be excellent. My job (when I was doing it well), was to simply help them discover that which was already there. I also had a more subtle revelation that I want to share to you and to myself. That is, the best advice to myself I gave to others.

I know that may sound egotistical but there is a lot of truth here. You see we can almost never see our own issues and struggles from an objective perspective. How can we? We've lived with ourselves for an entire lifetime. Looking at our lives from an outsider's perspective is like the analogy of the fish discovering water. It's always there, and therefore it's almost always unnoticed. But in others, we can see issues more readily and diagnose and suggest with doctor like precision and accuracy. And as the adage goes, that which we dislike it others, we dislike in ourselves. So if I ever saw something to correct or suggest to an athlete, I always tried to see if the very same applied to me. More often than not, I was not living by my own advice and was paying the price. 

So I began to learn that in order to coach effectively, you gotta coach yourself first. First you'll become a better person. Second, you'll know for sure whether your advice is actually good or not. And lastly, your athletes and those around you will respect you a heck of a lot more knowing that you speak from experience rather than something read in a book or were told from someone else.

This is a lesson I'm teaching myself again right here. 

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CXO of Atomic Form. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.