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You Are Your Greatest (or Worst) Coach!


When it comes down to it, YOU are the bottom line when it comes to your success. You could have the best coaches, teachers, or self-help books but if you aren’t putting the feedback you’re getting into the action you will limit your progression. Recently, I have seen firsthand examples of people being their own greatest coach and it has been inspiring to watch. Here are some of those people:


Example #1

Justin Lui was a libero at Stanford that I was lucky to connect with. I watched him shift his process throughout his years into a mindset of just wanting to learn. I remember watching him during a practice where he was terrible. I thought something was up for sure and I asked him if he was alright. He let me know that he was working on a different technique and was exploring the feeling and movement. He was getting worse before he was getting better! Justin took all the information/feedback he was getting from everything around him and used it to get uncomfortable. The result was more than just the improvement in skills. Justin was experiencing more joy and less burnout because his process was focused on growth not winning. This past week, Justin competed with the Canadian National team and qualified for the 2024 Olympics.


Example #2

There is a young man who plays for Bay to Bay that I have gravitated towards at practices. When I first saw him play I could see a raw but extremely athletic specimen. I don’t know if it is because he is new to the game or if he is just built this way, but every time I give him instruction, on the next opportunity, he does exactly what he was asked to do. Sometimes, the result is shocking, both good and bad. At some point, I am going to sit with him and get a clearer picture of his point of view. I have seen him improve so much over the last couple of months and if continues to take feedback and apply it, the sky's the limit!


Example #3

I recently did a performance workshop with Granite Bay High School. I used to stress over doing these workshops because I wanted them to have a huge impact. I wanted to say all the right things so there would be 100% buy-in. Over time, I’ve realized that if I was myself and shared the knowledge I had with the group, that was all I could do because they are their greatest coach.


I watched them practice (and gave some feedback here and there), we sat and chatted about some pertinent topics, and we talked about some actions they could take that could turn into positive results. They had a match the next day and I watched the live stream. I saw a very different team applying what we had discussed the previous day. They could have easily rejected the thoughts we threw out there because when it comes down to it, it’s optional. After losing 4 straight matches, the Grizzlies are on a 6 match-win streak!


I think there are great coaches out there who can speak and inspire in ways that make you want to listen. I also think there are coaches that are still learning that may not incite the same response but I think they still have a lot to offer. You are the decider of the action you want to take with the information you are given because you are your greatest coach!


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