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Athlete tips: 13 Steps to Being Coachable

  • Identify what makes an athlete coachable or uncoachable
  • TOP 5 benefits for being coachable.
  • Free download of 13 Steps to Being Coachable

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As you’ve probably noticed already, sometimes your athletes need to hear a different voice than yours. Share our coachability checklist with your team to help them hold one another accountable, and develop a growth mindset. 


Sports are filled with mental challenges, and many of these challenges are self-imposed. The coach-player dynamic can be one of the most difficult challenges to navigate.

Receiving criticism in any area of life is tough, whether it's coming from teachers, bosses, family, friends, or coaches. But being able to graciously receive advice and mentorship is a necessary part of growth. 

Before I dive into becoming a coachable athlete, allow me to define it.

Characteristics of a Coachable Athlete

Before I wrote this blog, I asked a number of...

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Does Being Positive Mean I Have to be Nice?

One of my favorite coaches of all time was the hardest on me.

Isn’t that true for most of us?

She was the one that sat me down and told me my freshman year that I wasn’t cutting it, I looked distracted in workouts and needed to step it up.

She was the one that sat me down and had the real talk real talk of making sure I wasn’t getting too boy crazy in college and keeping my eye on the ball so to speak.

She was the one that would look me straight in the eye and tell me to get my mind right and start competing.

I would have run through a freaking brick wall for this woman. I still will. (It’s Katie Abrahamson-Henderson at UCF by the way). I knew in my soul that she believed in me. I knew that she pushed me hard BECAUSE she cared. And when she was hard on me or disappointed, it hurt, but it motivated me to push to another level.  

I love her to my core but not because she was NICE all the time; her positivity was in holding me to a high standard. 

I...

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When Doing What You Hate Makes You A Better Person

I just got back from 8 days in paradise. Our family has a 100-year old cabin in Desolation Wilderness built by my husband’s great grandfather; It’s rustic and simple and has no cell reception. It has no TV and no central heating. We hike into the mountains, make nightly fires, swim in the alpine lakes, and eat dinner on the deck with just the sky, the trees, and the sound of streams running and birds chirping and chipmunks scuttling among the rocks.

Now that I'm a mom, vacation is about THEM. Watching my 4-year old climb for 2 hours on the steepest mountain trail, watching my two daughters invent games with sticks and rocks and pine cones, teaching them how to catch and release crawdads from hand-made fishing poles, seeing them play in the same stream their dad and grandfather grew up playing in.

It’s heaven.

While I was on vacation, I didn't work for a second, but I did carve out some ‘me’ time; and for me, 'me' time means more than just...

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Negative vs. Positive: Thought Discipline and The Harder Path to Self-Growth

You know what’s really easy? Being negative. You know what’s really hard? Being positive.

In sports (and beyond) we don’t really ‘get' this all the time. Sometimes, we get it a bit confused because negativity can easily be mistaken for positive attributes such as drive or resilience. 
 
I had a coach once who everyone respected. "Look how competitive he is!", they’d say, "He’s so DRIVEN!", they’d comment as he grumbled and stomped around and yelled at players.
 
Give me break. Anyone can be negative.
 
It’s not a badge of honor. It doesn’t mean you ‘want it’ more than others. All it means is that you don’t control your thoughts and you’ve learned to be driven by fear alone. Because under that negativity, under that anger is a feeling that you aren’t good enough.
 
Take the athlete that is overly hard on HERSELF. That’s easy. She beats herself up after every...
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Why leaders must practice what they preach

As summer officially begins, I’m working on finding space in my life to work on me. It’s not easy. It seems there is always something else to do that needs my attention. And while working on me is rewarding on one hand, it’s also uncomfortable on the other. In many ways, its just plain easier to send emails and keep busy with the million to-dos I have piling up.

So why do it at all?

As a coach myself, there is nothing more valuable than sitting on the other side of the table with my coach- answering the hard questions, being held to difficult standards, experiencing the awkward silence before I tell my truth about something. But those insights are pure gold in a quest of self-improvement and ultimately it helps me empathize with, understand and teach my students in an authentic way. In other words, it gives me credibility; I am practicing what I preach.

If we ask it of others, we must require it of ourselves.

And so, this summer, I challenge you to take the time to...

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How to Get Out of a Slump

The dreaded slump. Is there anything worse?

Whether you‘re the athlete in the middle of it, frustrated because you don’t know where to turn, or a coach, parent, or teammate watching from the sideline and feeling helpless, slumps suck!

The truth is, it doesn't matter how talented or experienced you are,

Slumps hit all sports and all athletes.

In the past three days, I’ve worked with two athletes experiencing slumps. Unfortunately, coaching athletes out of their slumps isn’t unusual. Far from it. Slumps are very common, and they don’t discriminate; they hit every kind of athlete, no matter their sport, gender, seniority, age, or skill. Here are the stories of my two latest slump-stricken clients:

Jack is a 17-year-old baseball player who had an amazing junior year on the plate. He batted over .300 and set his sights on a college scholarship. Then senior year came and he experienced a few rough at-bats, starting worrying about that college scholarship, and...

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Coaching passion

For coaches....

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and think about one of your earliest memories of basketball. Think of a time when you were a little girl or little boy playing on a playground by your house, shooting hoops with your dad or your sister or a neighborhood friend. Remember how much fun it was, how freeing it was, how you wanted to stay out there all day long.

That’s a small part of a guided visualization I do regularly with the athletes I work with. This simple, sort of silly paragraph of text can be enormously powerful. Whether these athletes are struggling with confidence, not having fun, unmotivated, or frustrated this exercise can often lock them into a positive mindset in the matter of a few minutes.

For coaches it’s important to do the same thing- lock into the love of why you do what you do. With all the stress and pressure college coaches deal with, getting back to the root of your motivation can help drive you forward in a healthy, positive way....

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