Would you ever think that you could learn something about business from running? Well, I am here to tell you that you absolutely can. I started coaching when I was 18 years old. I was three months removed from high school and a friend encouraged me to join him. That began an eight year journey that included three championship teams, several individual champs and a whole lot of fun along the way.
As I look back on that experience, I realize that what helped keep me grounded and focused was a cohesive plan that was highly adaptable. However, those two items may seem like they should be on opposite ends of the spectrum, but rather they juxtapose each other.
For any good team to succeed, they must have a plan. In running, I would periodize their entire season – not just at a high level, but down to each day, to each workout. What did this afford me? It afforded me an opportunity to provide guidance towards the end goal, provide vision, illustrate that I had their best interest at heart, and allow room for adaptation.
What does adaptation look like? It usually surfaces in the form of rest. Great leaders & coaches know when they need to push for top performance, and when they need to rest the team so that they can push to the next level. For me, this usually came right before we would begin our taper into the peak performance time. I could see it in their workouts (a little sluggish) or in their school performance – usually at that time we rested (usually just one day) – no workouts, but we did settle in and revisit our goals for the season and for them as individuals. This rest (both physically & mentally) allowed them to come back with renewed passion for the work that needed to be done heading into the peak season.
As coaching leaders in business, take time to work with each of your subordinates on periodizing their year. Listen to what they would like to accomplish. Give them clear goals with specific milestones to hit. Build them up. Allow them to fail forward. Re-shape or re-shift their thinking when it needs to be done. Meet frequently to ensure that you are helping them achieve the goals that have been set. At then end of the year, prepare for next year. Always reward the right behavior, and reward frequently and specifically.
Be a great coaching leader!
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