COACHES & MENTORS, Part 2 – A Word to Students


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We have already looked at the need for coaches to find their own coaches during the competitive season. Yes. Coaches coach even better when they are coached too.

Now a word to students in training…

Don’t go it alone. None of us are ever too skilled or too experienced to have outgrown the need of a mentor. The mark of a superior competitor is his or her ability to remain teachable.  Some of the most highly decorated competitive speakers and debaters that I have ever coached tend to interrupt critique sessions and blurt, “Don’t tell me what you like, coach; tell me how to get better.” They do not just want validation; they want to be trained and coached. They are like sponges who long to drink up the counsel and insights of others. Good for them.

I personally look for mentors everywhere. Success Magazine happens to be a place where I have found several.  Each month it provides on-going training with interviews, articles and CDs from world renowned experts. I always learn something when I plug-in with an open mind and open heart. This month, an interview with Jack Daly was especially enlightening. Here’s what this 20-year veteran sales expert and trainer himself has to say about coaching…

“If at any stage in life you don’t have a coach or coaches then you are missing out… someone that can weigh-in with an objective eye and give you course direction; someone that you can lean in on and tap their previous experiences that quite frankly might have been going down the wrong path or into the pothole – that person that can fast forward you along in your career because of the experiences that they have had; someone that holds you honest; holds you accountable so that you do the things you say you will do. On the personal side of my life I have 5 coaches or ‘board of directors of my life’ who meet with me 4-6 times a year, one-on-one, and painstakingly go through my goals line-by-line to make sure that I am doing what I said I was going to do. There isn’t a month that goes by when one of these coaches/mentors is not holding my feet accountable. Then when I know that I have these individuals vested in my success then I see myself get up every morning and say, ’I’m going to be held accountable. I want to do this anyway, but now I’ve got an extra raising of the bar. As a result, I need to bring my game!’”

Now it’s your turn, competitors. Bring your game. Choose someone to learn from this year. Be accountable to a coach and work together to take your skills to the next level.  ‘Breathe in’ in the inspiration that your coach offers and soak up his or her guidance. Your relationship with a coach who cares about your success and improvement will make this season of competition a good one and this season of life… great!