I was chatting to a friend today – over text, since texting, facetime, shouting across the street, and phoning are the only ways I communicate with my friends at this interesting juncture of social distancing and still needing each other – and we exchanged the usual things we all say right now: how are you making out? Are you working from home? Are you healthy? Are you doing ok?
And then he said “I miss coaching.”
Yup. I miss coaching too. My girls trail running group is on hold, and I had half a dozen coaching talks dropped from the schedule. I find public speaking to active people very motivating and it is a whole lot of fun to interact with an audience, and well, the hour I spend with my run group, in the forest running trails, climbing trees, playing games, and laughing, is simply priceless.
So, in the spirit of the positive energy of great coaches everywhere: we are missing you too. And here’s why:
Coaches coach because they love coaching others. I genuinely love to see people find success.
I coach because after two hours of talking very loudly, giving, supporting, encouraging, teaching and listening, I feel more energized and alive than before I started.
Your coach misses you, the athletes, because you make us raise our game: we have to be switched on emotionally and intellectually to be both empathic and objective, and coaching at its best, is about a very cool interplay of leadership and trust.
Coaching is a lot like training. We have to show up day after day, and there are times it’s routine, but there are also times when a session gels and for imperceptible reasons, it is just magic: some combination of group human energy and being 100% committed and the group is 100% committed to being there. In these moments, everything is in flow: people are mindful – they are smiling and laughing, or focussed with concentration on the task at hand, and we are witness to them becoming an improved version of their already perfect selves.
Coaches care and now they can’t check in and see you. We can talk to you, and skype you and write to you, but when you coach a group, you really start to care about all the people. You want to see them at the next practice, hear about their lives, listen to their week, and most of all, be there for them, supporting them in their athletic goals, in the way you said you would be.
We will all get through this!
Keep training alone, keep smiling, and keep thriving.
Writing about the art of moving well and the lived experience of a life in sport.