A few years back I was invited along with a player I was coaching to do a session with a group of performance coaches. Their tutor asked them to observe the drills I was going to show them and then give feedback and ask questions afterward. Immediately when we began the drills I could see that 99% of them began to look at what they thought were the technical flaws in this player's game. Only one of them stood back and observed without judging immediately what was going on.
When the time for questions came up all of them instead of asking questions began to ask what I call qugestions which are questions with suggestions within them. Towards the end, the one who had remained quiet asked some of the most brilliant and insightful questions I have ever been asked by another coach. Today as I look back on that experience I realize that the coaches that were obsessed with every small technical detail were, in fact, trying to control the player and everything they did so they could hopefully get the results they thought would be good not for the player but for their resume. This approach led them to be superficial, closed, unaware, unconscious, and plain and simply blind. They spent all their time fixing things instead of creating and discovering something new… On the other hand, the other coach that looked at things as a whole showed that he understood that there was something far deeper to tennis, like life, that influenced and made the real difference when it came to performing on the outside.
How do you coach yourself and others?
Consider today taking some time to take a step back and look at your life and others from a different perspective. Observe and choose not to judge. Try and see your self and others not as a project that needs to be fixed but instead as a journey that needs to be uncovered and discovered. Be easy when some things are not the way you have been told they need to be. Embrace the good, the bad, the ugly, and the supernatural in you and others all in the same way and in time you will begin to see that the life you wished you and others had, has in fact been there all along within waiting to be uncovered.
By the way that one coach went on to produce some great players…the others are still trying to control theirs…
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