These days there seems to be a huge emphasis on being a coaching leader. My thought is, is that some people are born to coach and some are not. Some may be great tacticians and some can see the process and manage through the process. Sometimes people possess these skills together while others flounder in the waves when it comes to using their, not so God-given, people skills.
Coaches, whether athletic, business or life, have to be able to see the big picture as well as the finer details. They need to be able to adjust and shift gears when the direction has you chasing your tails. The best coaches, in my opinion, are those that inherently can see these things and shift.
When I began my coaching career at LA Baptist, as an assistant cross-country coach, I did it because a friend asked me. For years, I had been running and towards the latter end of my high school career I lost focus and didn't care. Presented with a challenge, I did just enough to get by, but that certainly wasn't going to land me anywhere near a scholarship or anything else.
Those first few years, I spent more time listening, observing and making a lot of mistakes. I would push people too hard when they weren't ready. I would pick the wrong person who was last in a drill. I would get beat by the girls during a workout (hey, we had fast girls). I would let people slide on some workouts. I slipped so many times I lost track, some days I think I spent more time reviewing my mistakes then I spent doing any real teaching.
Coaching is a process. Some people think that coaches just come up with this stuff, but the truth is, they, we have all made mistakes in the past that lead to success in the future. If babies didn't learn to crawl before they walked, then they would be face planting so long they would say forget it. Slips serve a purpose to help prepare us for the trips, falls and eventually the successes.
What were your slips that helped change your path?
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