Do athletes work for their coach?
Or does the coach work for the athlete?
As a coach, my approach has always been to build a relationship with each player that I am there to work for them. When players feel like they are there to do what is asked of them it can become like a traditional boss / employee relationship. The boss dictates and the employee just works. The boss thinks, the employee works. Does this allow players to grow to their potential or does it make them easier to manage and keep them under control?
How to take charge of your own career:
Set Your Own Goals
What are your goals as an individual? Individuals must fit with team goals – there is no “I” in team. However, to get the best out of yourself you need to have clearly established goals as an individual. A coaches goals for a player aren’t worth nearly as much as the players’ goal for himself! Think big and anything can happen. Aim mediocre and almost certainly that will be the result.
Have you clearly stated your goals for the year ahead?
Where did you post them?
Post them to the world or perhaps on the wall at home – either way they need to be somewhere you can see them on a daily basis. Even better, have a crack at drawing what your ideal scenario or future looks like.
Purpose is evident in every individual who has clearly defined goals.
How does an athlete take care of his career?
Do Professional environments create environments where the players are able to take OWNERSHIP of their own preparation and development?
Pro sports run generic programs that are largely for the average of the group. Each individual has their own dreams. Goals should be clearly set about what the individual wants to achieve in their career. This builds ownership. People must have their own dreams not just the goals of the organisation that they work within.
Those dreams have to bring about an emotional response.
How do you feel when you think about chasing those dreams?
This can build ownership! If every day is a step towards the dream, you must own your preparation as an individual. Some questions an athlete should be asking:
Is the program working for you?
Does the program accommodate your needs?
What is missing? And what are you doing about it?
Athletes in individual sports tend to take much more control of their program. They can’t rely on anyone else to help them on game day, and it tends to be replicated in their approach. Appointing their trainers, support staff and generally determining how their program shapes up. Is there any reason why a team sport athlete can’t feel like they have more control over the program?
You are the General not the soldier. Own it.
A well thought out opinion or question is valued. There is nothing better than a player suggesting an idea that means something to them. Preparation and development is about getting the best possible program in place toward chasing individual and team goals. In the end it doesn’t matter whose idea it is. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Far too many athletes in team sports won’t speak their mind. When an aspect of the program doesn’t suit or something is being left out rarely does a player honestly speak. In Rugby League players are so fit and tough they just keep doing the training that is asked of them regardless of whether they think it is helping them. Adam MacDougall was a guy that knew exactly what he needed for his prep. It was about playing well on game day! He wasn’t shy in speaking up and in doing so optimised his performance and added years onto his career!
As a tactical coach it is hard to beat a player coming to you and saying I have this idea. I don’t like this, or how about we do it this way? Working through these questions and ideas allows the players to build ownership while connecting players and staff!
Who are you spending your time with? You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Are you surrounding yourself with people that are better than you? Sure it’s good to stay in touch with people on social media, but social media when well managed can actually make you better. Fill your mind with quality material, get in line with positivity!
Has your coach recommended any books for you to read?
Surround yourself with people that are like minded. Find people that are more advanced than you!
This is the foundation of RealMOVEMENT Coaches community that now has coaches working in many NRL clubs as well as AFL, Super 15, institutes and teams in Ireland, England and France! You are your community and your opportunities in life will come from the community you choose.
Meditate, Yoga, learn to breathe, switch off. Getting paid to sit still and relax sounds pretty good to most, but few capitalise properly on this opportunity. Try different methods until you find what works for you. Learn how to switch off, quieten the mind. This could be the most important skill in your kit bag. This is a skill, learn it. The Chicago Bulls made meditation famous in the sporting world, but it has been slow to emerge as a significant factor in Professional sport. Sure some individuals are right into it, but what teams value this as much as they value the physical preparation. If it was good enough for Kobe and Jordan, there must be something to it. Check out Sacred Hoops or The Mindful Athlete – great reads about how meditation played a key role in basketball dynasties.
6. Learn Something New
Why? Because you can, and you like a challenge. It is good reinforcement for us all to realise we can achieve something new. This will cross over into athletic performance and possibly break down some barriers to add to your game. Lebron James learns new skills every year and he is one of the Greatest of All Time (GOAT). If you aren’t getting better you are getting worse.
This is your year. Don’t wait. Take Charge. Go Get it!
RealMOVEMENT has the goal of reaching every person on earth with the opportunity to live with greater health, performance and purpose. This will happen via gyms, rural performance centres, performance experiences, social media and other channels not yet thought of. These systems have worked with the world’s best athletes on a level that most other athletic development systems aren’t trying to reach.