Dan Pfaff
Head Coach

on filing

I often get asked by younger coaches how to organize my thoughts so I don’t get overwhelmed by too much information.  I use a file system format, whereby I put everything into files of topics. I have blog files, podcast files, coursework files, general research files, advanced research files, etc. I then use systems to manage them.  I normally have...

The myth of work-life balance?

I come from a family tradition of storytellers.  I love to hear and speak about stories. So when I’m guiding younger coaches through some of the pitfalls we encounter in our coaching lives, I tend to tell gut-level honest stories of failures, successes, trials, tribulations, etc.  I also share biographies of coaches and other leaders who have fallen into some...

Is it worth it?

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,...

3 steps to being a good mentor

Mentorship is something that lots of folks talk about, and lots of folks appreciate the importance of - but there are really few effective structured mentorship programs in coaching education.   Costs, time allotments for both parties, rules and regulations by governing bodies, a dearth of true educators in leadership roles, the lack of reward for doing mentorships other than self-gratification,...

in Praise of my Mentors

When I was a young coach, I was desperate for advice and mentoring, but it was very uncommon back then (late 60s-early 70s), so the only way to get any sort of help was to volunteer at a school and pray that one of the coaches took you under his wing.  I grew up with a father in the construction...

Coach Pfaff on coaching at the Games

The second of our post-Rio series features Coach Pfaff. In this quick-fire Q&A, Dan reviews some of the challenges faced at the 2016 Olympic Games, and shares his solutions. Dan - thanks for joining us. How many athletes were you coaching in Rio?  I was directly responsible for 4 athletes: Greg Rutherford, Fabrice Lapierre, Christabel Nettey, and Yosiri Urrutia. I also consulted with 3...

Barriers to Championship Performances

The below is a collection of Coach Dan Pfaff's thoughts and observations acquired through 40 plus years of coaching and interaction with Championship Performers from across the globe ... Enjoy! Risk taking is a common trait among champions. Learning to be comfortable with taking calculated risks to drive positive change – whether than be in mind-set, mechanics, strategies, tactics or...