I have been consistently challenged in multiple environments.
The two biggest challenges for me in scale and scope are constant battles with:
- Administration silos / scope of practice, etc.
- Support agencies around the athlete
I have fought constant battles with NGBs, Olympic Committees, meet promoters, legislation issues, and world-politic.
On the support side, endless and inane conflicts from agents, sponsors, parents, significant others, teammates, ATCs/physios, ‘medical experts’ and support coach staff. It is the same at developmental levels, and is what drove me out of high school coaching: school board members, Superintendents, parents, fellow teachers, peer influences, etc.
That’s the bad side of our sport.
It takes time, energy and a massive collection of resources to battle these factors. This stole time from my family, and the athletes I was trying to support.
Frustration is corrosive and it eats away at the soul over time if we’re not careful.
I am often asked if I would do anything differently now with the benefit of hindsight and wisdom, but I have always been one to state that the mistakes, mis-steps, rabbit holes and endless failures are springboards to future change and growth — and in the main, I still feel that way.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
Another thing I get asked about a lot is sacrifice.
For me, sacrifice is a values-trading puzzle: some delay reward, some bring reward, some result in loss, some in gain. I always made a plus and minus list of life values and life factors each season at year’s end.
If the negatives far outweighed the positives, I moved on or sought deeper counsel.
I still do this to this day.
My goal is simply to end up on the plus side more than I do on the minus side.
While coaching is not for everybody, it has been very rewarding for me. Next week, I’ll share some thoughts on how to avoid some of the pitfalls I have fallen into.