Category Archives: Personal Development

Capitalize on Coaching Opportunities

Interactions with athletes are littered with opportunities to have a positive impact on their lives. It requires being present to their needs, what they’re asking, and what they’re open to at the present moment. Your athlete might be preparing to start an event requiring a little bit of last minute technique and mental preparation coaching. Or on the flip side of the event an athlete that just DNF’ed (Did Not Finish) might require some immediate empathizing and encouragement to allow the distress of the event to wear off before exploring what caused the DNF.  These are prime opportunities to have a lasting impact on the athlete’s future performance, whether it’s the event they’re about to start or the event after the DNF’ed event.

Last minute preparation is a very individualized process, however sometimes there are certain obstacles that can potentially derail our routine. When this happens I encourage athletes to have the courage to bring their concerns to the coach to work through whatever is going on. What a coach does with this opportunity is crucial to the athlete’s performance. The coach must acknowledge the athlete’s awareness of their own process, be very attentive to the athlete’s specific needs, and ensure that the athlete’s needs are met by the conversation. In this scenario the coach must take a holistic approach to ensure that the athlete is mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming event.

DNF’s can occur for a variety of reasons depending on the sport. The cause that is being addressed here is physical and mental preparation. This is a vulnerable time for an athlete because this is what they have prepared for. This situation calls for a much different response than the previous, but both require complete and total presence to the athlete. It’s the coach’s responsibility to figure out what happened, and wait for the opportunity to educate the athlete on what and why it happened. Then the coach must work with the athlete to implement a plan to ensure the same mistake doesn’t reoccur.

Allow this post to be an invitation to be present to each and everyone of your athletes. They’re individuals with different needs. It is your responsibility to meet those needs. I believe in your coaching ability. The question is do you?

Where is the light I saw yesterday?

I find that we learn the most from our times of struggle. I’m getting all this out now, because it’s getting in the way of me writing my paper. Most people see me as this perpetual optimistic bubble of joy. Well you know what? I have my ups and downs just like most people. And I’m choosing to share it with you today.

It could be my frustration with not being able to focus on this paper, or the rhythmic rock in my ears dictating the flow of my fingers on the key board. Rhythm is only allowing me to be fully open right now.

 

The Power of Community

Thank you for allowing me this time to vent to you. Who know’s you might even be connecting with what you’re reading and will be inspired to share your story with the world. That leads me to another point! So many of us are trapped with our faces in our phones browsing social media, and ignoring the world around us. Well this is another form of social media. I may not be a friend of yours, but I do have your attention. Welcome to my world, and thank you for letting me be apart of yours. It’s truly honor to have your attention.

Now take your face away from the screen and smile at a stranger. Make someones day. You’ve already made mine by being there for me.

 

Playing Connect the Dots

The Assignment of Life

Today’s theme was about connecting the dots. So much of what we do in the world of strength and conditioning is playing connect the dots to formulate that optimal program that will enroll the coach to inspire his athletes to come to us so that we can help fill the gaps with a little S&C to boost them to that next level. Coaching an athlete towards reaching that next level takes understanding, empathy, compassion, knowledge, and building rapport. Few athletes care about the process we go through so that we can provide them with the tools they need.

We begin to see the dots the moment we know the sport we’ll be working with. Name a sport and the dots will start to appear. It’s these dots of information that need to be connected in order to achieve the desired outcome.

At this point you’re probably asking yourself; so what? What’s the practical application of this theme “Playing Connect the Dots”? Take a moment to think about it…

Think of an adverse situation that you’re currently facing. Now that you have it, sit with it. Do you see the dots? If not, you should look at it a little closer. Once you decide to slow down to have a closer look, you’ll notice that this chaos is simply caused by you not taking the time to connect the dots in the way they’re supposed to be. When you connect these dots, everything will become clear.

Remember that these dots represent the life you’re living. See what you want to see.

My Commitment… Monday & Thursday

Tiger Mt. 5/31/15
Tiger Mountain peak in Issaquah, Washington. 4 mile fire road climb and nothing but single track to the bottom.
Last week I made the commitment to begin posting two blogs a week: Monday & Thursday. The topics will cover are whatever I’m feeling that day, a current project, a frequently asked question, an interview with a fellow strength & conditioning coach, or a piece by one of my athletes.

This new commitment was the result of a  conversation with parents of a youth cross country (XC) mountain bike racer. It was brought to my attention that I preach about youth athletic development, and the need to encourage athletes to sample various sports and follow their desire to try new things. Apparently I have a lot to say on that topic.

I see that I have two  main priorities when it comes to youth athletes: First to decrease the risk of sport induced injury and improve athletic performance, both  by teaching them how to move properly in time and space (proprioception and kinesthetic awareness). And second is to educate them on the importance of living a healthy balanced life through nutrition, stress management, and joys of staying fit.

Athletic ability is something that can be improved at any age. I’m still improving! The picture above, aside from being beautiful and encompassing the heart of the Pacific Northwest, is an example of why I spend time in the gym. Being able to participate in sports that I’m passionate about is key to leading by example. All the effort that I put into minimizing my risk of injury and improving my performance inspires my athletes to do the same. This will have a trickle down effect for generations to come.

An Invitation to Invent Your Life

There is so much talk these days about living with intention, and being mindful. Thousands of books offering theories, and applicable concepts to implement into our daily lives. Yes, they work, and yes I suggest reading as many as you can. If you need a reading list, then leave a comment and I’ll provide a couple of my favorites.

Right now, I want to talk about the idea of invention: The invention of your life and how you choose to live it. In order to invent something you need a set of tools, in this case there are a few words that I’d like to give to  you:

Inventing

Inventing your life is a call to action. Without action nothing will come to fruition. I’m inviting you to take action for your self and your life.

Possibility

When we are given a blank anything; piece of paper, wall, canvas, or in this case a new day, then anything is possible. What do you want to be possible for you and your life?

Act

We all have a story (Act) that has a tendency to prevent us from living mindfully by applying a filter to everything we hear, see, and do. This Act is very present in everything we do, unless we acknowledge it’s presence, and make the conscious decision to give it up. By giving up our story, we can be present to the moment we’re in without looking at it from the past.

Now that you have the tools, I’ll show you how to use them. There’s a phrase I was taught years ago that goes something like this…

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The “…” is your blank canvas to invent the possibility of being in a way that you never thought possible.

Here’s my commitment to this process; I’m going to invent a possibility for my life for everyone to see…

The possibility that I’m inventing for myself and my life is the possibility of being “CARING”.

April 23rd, 2015

By inventing this possibility, I’ve now instilled in my mind that I will behave in a way that I feel is inspiring to me and those around me.

Now that we have invented a possibility for ourselves and our lives, it’s time to tell ourselves and world who we are. In order to authentically tell the world who we are, we must first acknowledge and give up the act that we see the world through.

My act is “You’re not the boss of me”. When I’m not being present to a situation, I know my act is at play. It manifests it’s self as rebellious, and it’s harmful to the man I want to be. When I choose to give up my act, I’ve created that blank canvas that you’ll see in the next phrase…

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In this phrase we see that we’re declaring who we are for the world to see, and we’re acknowledging that we’re giving up our act. This is who I am today…

Who I am is the POSSIBILITY of being “UNDERSTANDING”. The ACT that I’m giving up is “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME”. That is who I am. 

April 23rd, 2015

Here I am; exposed and open for the world to see.

I’m inviting you to use these tools in the comment section below to be courageous and join me in this life that we’re fully capable of living to the fullest.