A number of years ago I attended a weeklong workshop on leadership. The location was ideal—an independent boarding school with world-class facilities tucked away amongst the evergreens on Vancouver Island. On the first day, upon entering my room, I noticed a small card on my pillow with one word on it—trust. Thinking it nothing more than quaint at the time, I stuffed it into my wallet. However, for the remainder of the week there wasn’t a day that went by where the notion of trust didn’t come up in discussions or in the dealings of group work. It was a week of synchronistic moments that were truly astounding.
As coaches, there are only a handful of significant factors that we can affect with regards to our athletes—how hard they train and how well they execute the technical component of their sport being two of them. Conversely, there are a host of things that we have little or no affect on in the lives of our athletes that ultimately has an enormous impact on the outcome of their competitive season. The size and ability of competitors, the newness and adequacy of equipment, and the weather just to name a few. Therefore, at some point we have to face the reality that our realm of influence is limited, and when we send our athletes off to compete, for example, that influence diminishes further. We can only hope that all of the sage advice we have bestowed upon them over the preceding weeks, months, and years hangs on for just a few more moments.
For me, when things don’t go to plan, I find it comforting and grounding to remind myself that when I trust that everything is happening exactly as it is suppose to, I am a more effective coach. What I’ve come to realize is that when I focus on what our competitors are doing and the outcomes of all of the things that aren’t going well, I lose sight of what my real job is as a coach and I negatively impact the potential of my athletes. Hmmm, swallow that one!
This past month, we’ve have had our share of unexpected and unwanted challenges—everything from injuries to sicknesses to lousy weather, you name it. But, what’s kept me going is that simple little word—trust. Trust that no matter how unfair, upsetting or annoying the circumstances; in a few weeks when we look back on the season there will have been a purpose to those challenges that in the moment we were unable or unwilling to see.
I still carry that card in my wallet!
Jason Dorland is a High-Perfomance Coach who believes the most undervalued and underutilized components of reaching our goals are the mental and emotional areas of our lives. With your commitment, Jason can help you make a positive difference in how you approach your life’s dreams and goals. Guaranteed! To find out how, contact Jason today for a free no obligation consultation. He looks forward to meeting with you and getting started soon!