Call me crazy, but I’m not totally at ease with the fact that I have found the time needed to write this post. I was really hoping to be getting ready to coach up kick-off and kick-off return, instruct fullbacks, and coordinate an offense, all with the hope of winning at least one championship final this weekend. As it is right now, none of those things will happen today, so I might as well coach via my writing.
Over the last few years, my style and approach to coaching have drastically changed. Although not yet done evolving, my coaching tool kit now includes several new elements, such as a basic universal coaching structure, the use of well-constructed questions, and a sharper eye for the nuances of the personalities of my student-athletes. All of this is putting me in a very “coachy” mood right now, and I’m going to selfishly exploit my feelings and deliver you a list of tips that will make anyone better at anything that they are trying to pursue, no matter what!
1. Have an abundance mentality.
I love that word, “abundance.” It rolls off the tongue so well. And most really high-achieving people are those with abundance mentalities. The idea that there is only so much of anything to go around is particularly limiting for many people, because it implies that there are always winners and losers in every situation. It doesn’t have to be that way: losses are key learning moments for us all. We grow the most in the “valleys” of our lives, not at the “peaks.”
2. Read books.
These two words make up the most important two-word combination in this entire post. READ BOOKS! They can teach you anything that you want to learn. There is no greater return on investment than to walk away from a $20 book with a new mindset on how you want to live your life.
3. Ensure you are well-surrounded.
It’s hard to imagine where I’d be without the amazing support I’ve received all throughout my life. My family is simply incredible. My mentors have made me far wiser than my age would suggest, for which I’m forever grateful. My friends understand who I am, what I do, and encourage me every in some little way, every time I encounter them. Everyone needs their team – the secret ingredient in an individual’s recipe for success is everybody else.
4. Write stuff down.
I have really got the hang of this habit in recent months. My to-do list at work is a physical notepad. My coaching notes are written all over my daily depth charts and weekly game plans. My thoughts follow me in a backpack as I move throughout the day. The empty journal sitting in my apartment is about to get its first entry. Even though I don’t always go back and reread my notes, the act of writing my ideas down helps consolidate and organize my thoughts, making me more efficient. Writing stuff down is helpful, but don’t just take my word for it.
5. Understand the concept of “cause and effect.”
There is a reason why your life is the way that it is right now. Joshua Sheets of the Radical Personal Finance Podcast turned me on to this super simple, yet simply true philosophy. What have you done that has gotten you to the level of success/failure/growth/adversity that you currently face? Go take point number 4 and figure it out!
6. Take care of yourself physically.
“Bird, you’re so shallow…” Well, not really actually. Once upon a time I was, just a bit. Here’s the gist of this coaching point: when you take care of yourself physically, you begin to take care of yourself in many other ways. Good mental and emotional health, bolstered through exercise leading to improved self-image and stronger confidence, are so critical to achieving anything in life. About 80% of my university degree can be summed up as follows: we should all workout regularly. (Hint: put your workouts in your calendar…yes, another example of point number 4!!).
7. Invest in yourself, every single day.
How generic and unoriginal an idea, right? You should go try and ask people what they have done today to make themselves better at what they do, and see what their response is. I’ll bet that 50% of them can’t even give you one clear response. What have you done to make yourself better today? “How am I investing in myself today,” you ask? I’m writing this blog post for you, but also for myself, duh!!
8. Visualize your success before it happens.
Visualization is a powerful tool. As Dr. Peter Jensen says in his book Igniting the Third Factor, “imagery is the language of the body.” If your mind can see you performing an action, it can begin to build and improve the neural infrastructure necessary to make your thoughts a reality. In the brain, there is no difference between physically acting something out and simply mentally rehearsing the action. Crazy, right?
9. Play the long game.
Mastery of any domain requires a lot of deliberate practice. Some say it takes ten years, others say it requires 10 000 hours or repetitions of a discrete activity to gain a full command. Understand that just about anything can be accomplished if given enough time. We all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but in all truth, very few things actually are!
10. See opportunity where others see challenges, or worse, problems.
This final point book ends this post nicely with the first one. How you view the events in your life will determine your response to those events. Your response to the event will determine the outcome you face. The next time your come across a problem in your life, look for its silver lining. What could you learn from this and how could you walk away from it a better person?
What are some of your universal coaching points, tips or success truths? Please share them in the comment section below!