Always be a student
Here we are, my friends. We’ve made it to the final Tuesday in 2017, which means that this is the last Coach Tip Tuesday of the year.
In 2017, I learned A LOT. But I suppose that isn’t unique to 2017. If we look at our lives like books, and set each year as a chapter, it seems that while the pages do seem to get turned progressively faster with each year that goes by, each chapter also gets progressively longer. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that you never stop learning, and that the older you get, the more you realize that you don’t know. And so the girth of my 2017 chapter is quite a bit thicker than any other that came before it. :)
This leads me to this week’s tip: always be a student. No matter how long you stay in your sport, or how much you think you know, there is SO much that you don’t know. And while that might seem sad or overwhelming, the truth of the matter is that it presents wonderful opportunities for all of you.
It presents the opportunity for you to link up with other athletes who might be able to teach you something. It means you can connect with other coaches and mentors in the sport who have knowledge to share. Everyone who you interact with has experiences that are unique to them, and as such, every person you interact can teach you something new. Even the experiences and ideas that we are exposed to that we don’t like can teach us something, and I would argue that sometimes those are the most significant things. Learning what we don’t like or what doesn’t work for us is just as important as figuring out what does.
The best coaches acknowledge that they don’t know everything, and that they’re always learning new methods and ways to help the athletes who they’re working for. This is also true of the best athletes in each sport; they’re constantly striving to learn the best way to reach THEIR best. This should be true for each of you, too. Be a perpetual student, and like so many things sport-related, it will serve you well in both your athletic life and your personal life.
I wish you all health and happiness in 2018. I also hope that you all adopt a learning mindset and keep it with you all year long. I’ll see you next year, my friends. :)