It's Not the Hour; it's the Other 23
by Robin Sacks
The best way to find success is to get a coach.
I will use the term "coach" a bit loosely here; it can look several different ways - an actual coach, a mentor, a book that inspires you, a teacher, a course, a podcast that resonates with you or a social media channel that helps you become more self-aware and self-motivated.
The reality is that we can be inspired, motivated, guided, shown self-awareness and moved to action by a number of different "coaches."
But none of that matters if you don't learn to self-coach.
Good coaches all have coaches! Even the best coaches have coaches. That's how powerful coaching is. The reason is that, even with strong self-awareness, we are not always able to see things about ourselves that may be affecting our lives.
A coach not only can offer guidance, tools, and motivation, but they can provide possibly the most important thing of all - an outside view of ourselves.
That outside view allows you to become aware of shifts you need to make in order to find success.
Sometimes those shifts are physical, and sometimes they are mental.
The head coach of a football team is never the best player on the field or the fastest or the strongest - they can just see what you cannot. They are able to watch the fastest and strongest players do their thing, and be able to say, "If you move two steps to the right, you'll hit that hole every time. Now go make it happen."
A good coach sees the big picture for you when you are in the weeds.
If you're a business person who is working with a coach because you are giving more and more presentations, and that's not something you're comfortable doing, that coach is never going to be with you when you are in front of the executive board or the investors trying to motivate them to take action and say 'yes' to you. However, the training you have been through with that coach to help calm your nerves, tell better stories, and keep your focus outward is what will allow you to be self-aware in the moment, and make adjustments that will give you an opportunity for a positive outcome.
A good coach gives you a voice to hear in your own head when you need to make an adjustment.
The hitting coach of a baseball team is not the best hitter; the players he coaches are all more athletically talented than he is. So why is he their coach? Because when that player is in a slump, that coach can quickly help them identify something that has changed in their swinging motion or even just talk them through what they're thinking when they are at the plate. The difference between telling yourself, "Don't strike out again," and "Make contact with the ball," is game changing (literally!). Hearing that voice is what changes your performance, and also your outcome.
That's why there are coaches - to see what you cannot, and help you make the adjustments for success.
But a coach isn't always going to be there telling you what to do, how to adjust, or how to shift your self-talk to better serve you in the moment.
Anytime you are in a coaching relationship, the ultimate goal is for YOU to become the coach.
What I mean by that is, the goal of any great coach is to teach you how to self-coach.
Your job as a coachee is to apply, apply, apply.
It's not the hour you're together with your coach where the magic happens; the magic happens in the other 23 hours when YOU are applying what you discovered about yourself during that hour.