The coaching effect? I bet you think I am going to tell you that everyone needs a coach and how coaching positively impacts performance.
Well. Not quite.
I do agree that everyone needs a coach, even coaches. (Hit me up if you are looking for one 😊). But this “coaching effect” is not about coaches.
This is about what “coaching” can do for all of us!
I spend most Sunday evenings working with individual clients. Last night was awesome because I invited one of my DI soccer players to join me in a session with one of my 8th-grade soccer players.
My motivation was two-fold. First, my younger athlete is teetering on whether to move up to the more competitive level in her club and I wanted my college athlete to share her experience in making the move.
The young athlete says she isn’t sure she wants to make the jump because, in her words, “If I am only going to play 10 or 15 minutes, I’d rather play in the lower division and play the whole game.” This could be the case, but no one has told her that moving up would present this scenario. She is making it up…and looking for reasons to stay comfortable, because like all of us at some point in our lives, her confidence is a bit shaky and our brains don’t like change, even if it’s good for us!
Lo and behold, as we began talking about making the move or staying put, my second reason for making this connection came front and center.
As my college athlete told a story about her experience in the 8th grade, she started talking about confidence….and very quickly this became the central topic of our conversation!
PERFECT! It’s like I set this up or something.
As the young athlete shook her head and made immediate connections with the older athlete’s experience, the older athlete started sounding a lot like a mental performance coach. AND IT WAS AWESOME!
She had set THE COACHING EFFECT in motion!
Researchers Lauren Eskreis-Winkler, Katherine L. Milkman, Dena M. Gromet, and Angela L. Duckworth – notable names if you read much in positive psychology, have found that giving advice may impact the performance of the giver more than receiving advice.
What a simple performance enhancer!
Eskeris-Winker, et.al found that when we give advice, we change the way we think…and feel.
First, we tend to believe what we say (good and bad). When we advocate for a certain approach or when we share an opinion or belief, we believe it more. Believing what we advocated for helps manage dissonance. Our words and beliefs match and we trust what we say.
We believe what we are sharing will help others knowing we would not give advice that doesn’t work!
Next, when we share an approach or help someone formulate a plan based on our suggestions or instructions, we, too, begin to plan and can see how our ideas will work in our own lives. We lay out steps and in doing so, we remember the processes we can use or have followed as we faced issues in the past.
In the end, when we give advice, we are altering the psychological processes that uphold the behaviors we want but are struggling to attain due to a lack of confidence or our tendency to believe we need something or someone more to get what we want.
When we are not getting the results we want, we often think it is because we are lacking critical information. That means we need someone else to provide us with something that we don’t have. We need an expert, a coach or someone who can give us what we lack. When we hear ourselves help others, we realize we have the information we need which may be enough to get us to engage in the behaviors necessary to get #$!@ done!
Back to my athletes, my student became the teacher.
It was AMAZING to hear her describe the tools and behaviors she uses to move through tough stuff…and she has dealt with some tough stuff this year!
As she spoke, she reminded herself that she has all the tools she needs to recover from her injury and come back ready to compete in the fall! SHE NEEDED THIS as much as the younger athlete needed to hear how it is done!
As she spoke, she kept saying, “As Juile and I worked on this, I….” At that point, it wasn’t “Julie and I”, it was “I”. SHE did the work. SHE changed her mind. SHE shifted when needed. SHE figured out how to compete when she didn’t feel confident. SHE rehearsed her rehab, her skills, her attack, her tough conversations! And SHE shared with the aspiring college athlete what she could do now to be her best and take advantage of the opportunities in front of her.
She was the coach. She was so good, I need to hire her!
The beauty of it is that after we got off that call, both athletes found (or remembered) ways to think, feel and act as their best selves!
So, the next time you or someone you lead is struggling with confidence or trusting skills, preparation or knowledge, it's time to coach someone with similar concerns. Both will be better for it!
As one of my former bosses used to say, “Coach ‘em up”. He was calling on us to lead. In this case, we are “coaching ‘em up” to be better ourselves,too!
P.S. Start 2024 off right with a mental performance session (or program). Shoot me a text at 234-206-0946 or an email at email@example.com and get your team on my schedule for the New Year!
Mental Performance Coach
firstname.lastname@example.org • 234-206-0946