Below are fourteen examples of the inside-out coaching paradigm revealed in Stillpower. Consider theses attributes of great coaches for yourself; then see how they might apply to you, your team, classroom, company, or family.
1. Great coaches think state of mind first; behavior (including “working hard, “staying positive, and “doing the ‘right’ thing”), a distant second.
2. Great coaches know that what they say pales in comparison to the state of mind from which they say it.
3. Great coaches know that their perception of others is based solely on their own state of mind — which is always subject to change.
4. Great coaches set few expectations if any. They know better than to make players victims of their own circumstances.
5. Great coaches set few goals if any. They know better than to limit possibilities.
6. Great coaches act from inspiration (a high mind-set) and pull back from desperation (a low mind-set).
7. Great coaches know that a team culture must be flexible or it risks stifling the individuality, intuition, and free will of the players.
8. Great coaches burn to win and can’t stand to lose.
9. Great coaches understand that, win or lose, they’ll be perfectly okay.
10. Great coaches value imagination and creativity above a code of conduct or strategic system.
11. Great coaches rarely talk about or display past accomplishments. They know better than to take their team out of the here and now.
12. Great coaches are models of engagement and passion no matter the external circumstance (score, standings, opponent’s actions, referee’s call, etc.).
13. Great coaches do not force their belief system on others. They know that if a player replaces his or her own belief with the coach’s belief, success will be short-lived at best.
14. Great coaches love their players — and their opponents, too. They know that love fosters awareness, resilience, effort, and excellence. Resentment, disrespect, and hate foster nothing worth mentioning.
The bottom line is that the best coaches produce intuitive leaders who consistently come through in the big moment. And you don’t do this by dictating behavior or setting external standards. Instead, great coaches provide failure-free environments, and, thus, the instincts and free will of their players flourish.
Garret Kramer, author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life, is the founder and managing partner of Inner Sports, LLC. His revolutionary approach to performance has transformed the careers of professionals athletes and coaches, Olympians, and collegiate players across a multitude of sports. Kramer’s work has been featured on WFAN, ESPN, Fox, and CTV, as well as in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other national publications.