by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportToday.com
Coaches attempt many crazy things: win competitions, develop athletes, raise money, wow the public – to name just a few.
Think of all the things YOU try to do. How can you possibly be successful?
It boils down to this, there are 3 things that dictate your chance of success.
What’s interesting, without these 3 things (a better name might be component) you stand virtually no chance of succeeding.
Even more interesting, just knowing what the components are eliminates the overwhelm that could hold you back. And that allows you to move forward and improve in steady, bite-sized steps that you can manage.
The Success Components
So what are the components? Simply stated:
- Successful coaches are skilled.
- Successful coaches take action.
- Successful coaches are white-hot passionate.
It’s as simple as that. Skills, action, passion.
Certainly, other factors do have an impact (timing, education, etc) but not at the level of skills, action, passion.
This visual representation might bring it to life:
The height of the 3 components represent the chances of you being successful.
Two things to note. First, the components are rarely equal in size. Most coaches have a limiting component and one (or two) might loom larger. And that works, because the height can still be higher:
Second, this IS so rocket science, IS so live TV and IS so brain surgery (or as I like to call it rocket-live-surgery). Each of those top-end human-endeavors would not be possible without the three components.
A Balancing Act
When I first started coaching, I was fired up (high on the passion scale). I’d wake up at 3am, buzzing with ideas about workouts. Then, in the morning I’d zip to the boathouse and work like crazy (high on the action scale).
If you had observed me back then, you might have thought I was finding success with my career. But I wasn’t — because I was missing the skills component. It wasn’t until I become more skilled that success started to come.
As time went by, my passion started to wane. Yet, the reduction in that component was balanced as my skills continued to improve.
Now, being older, and having coached for 35 years, my passion has reached a steady plateau, but the action I can take is reduced. Again, this is where an increase in my skills component can offset a reduction in my action component.
Now let’s bring this closer to home for you.
Action You Need To (and should) Take
What are your chances of being a successful coach? Although you can’t predict the future, by rating yourself on the chart below you can get insight into that powerful question.
Give an honest evaluation of where you are NOW, not where you want to be tomorrow. And compare yourself to those coaches who you compete against, for example, other coaches in your conference/league/division.
Skill (circle one)
4 – no one is more skilled
3 – few have more skills
2 – I have average skills
1 – I have some skills, but need more
0 – I have no coaching skill
Action (circle one)
4 – I take as much action as possible
3 – I take action quite often
2 – I take action whenever I can
1 – I seldom take action
0 – I take no action
Passion (circle one)
4 – There is nothing more I’d rather be doing than coaching
3 – Coaching is pretty cool
2 – I like coaching
1 – Coaching is just okay
0 – I don’t care about coaching
Add your numbers, and compare to this scale:
12pts – We bow to your greatness (and time to give back)
9-11pts – Congrats, you’ve got it going on
6-8pts – You’re moving in the right direction. Success will follow
4-6pts – Could be a good time for a mentor to get to the next level
2-4pts – Do you have a self development program?
0-2pts – Are you sure you want to coach?
(A word of caution: This scale was created to get you to think about success in a bite-sized manner. It should not be taken as a valid measure of your ability as a coach, or a human, or all an around wonderful person.)
With this knowledge from the scale, you can work to increase your limiting component, and appreciate/celebrate your strongest one(s). Next week’s post will continue this successful-coach discussion with 7 Choices Successful Coaches Make.