I often get asked from coaches and trainers about how they can get into working with professional athletes in sport. A lot of coaches seem to regard working with professional athletes or teams as the highest level and pinnacle in coaching. Their perception is that If you work with the best athletes, then you are regarded as a great coach. Well, that’s not quite true.
I believe that some of the best coaches and teachers out there are people that you and I will never hear about, read about or ever see.
I have also always believed that the best coaches are the one’s who develop athletes, the one’s that do all the hard work BEFORE the athlete has reached a certain level of elite or professional.
In my experience, working with professionals is more about person management and planning, as where working with younger athletes is more about development, guidance and nurturing the individual.
My advice to young coaches who want to work with the top is to first take care of who’s in front of them right now.
So where should the REAL reward then be for us as coaches?
After 22 years in the game of athlete performance training and coaching, let me tell you where the most reward is.
The reward is in the individual, regardless of their status, level, age or ability. The reward is in the privilege we have been trusted and given to change peoples lives.
I would much rather work with someone who WANTS to be at practice, than someone who feels they need to be there.
The reward and payback is from the Joe Blog’s of this world who get up at 4.30am to be at your 5am class. That is a champion right there.
The reward is in seeing that kid who started with you and had 0.5% talent, reach his first entry level orange ball tournament or complete his first fun run. That’s a champion right there.
The reward is in seeing that guy who holds down a 9-5 job and has a family, reach his first marathon or Ironman from the early morning and late nights training sessions. That’s a champion right there.
Coaches, please don’t think that happiness and success is found when you get to coach the elite in our sport, it’s not. The real success, achievement and reward is found in working with those who truly VALUE your time and effort, those who LOVE and can’t wait to get to your practice session.
The one’s that WANT and LONG to be there, not the one’s who just NEED to be there.
Because that’s where the REAL payback and reward is.