The Most Powerful Thing Athletic Coaches Can Take from the Business World

Together, Everyone. Achieves. More.

"Lift as you climb." - Me

"A rising tide lifts all boats." - JFK

"If you want to get somewhere fast, go alone. If you want to go the distance, take a team." - African Proverb

Throw a pebble in any direction on the internet and you'll find some quote (or reference to it) about the power of a team; leaning into the strengths and perspectives of others to find more of yourself and apply that to your life.

It's a great message. No wonder it gets so much air time.


"I don't see it as competition. If I help other coaches in the same conference it lifts all of us and our athletes."

The summary statement from a discussion not too long ago with one of my favorite coaches; Buck Smith - the diving coach at Eastern Michigan University.

He was telling me about the mental work he does with his divers as well as the work he does with other diving coaches across the MAC.

They've seen and admired how he handles the highs and lows with his divers and requested his help. He didn't hesitate. He jumped right in. A pretty powerful statement to send to peers ... rivals.

"Sure, I'll help you because I want to see these athletes - mine or not - handle the situation while diving, but be equipped to handle it later in life too." This is about WAY MORE than diving for Buck.

A rising tide lifts all boats. If the entire conference focuses on the mental performance of the divers, they're not just creating great divers, they're creating mentally-equipped, resilient humans. Ones who aren't derailed by setbacks and maybe, just maybe, see the example set by their coaches and pay that forward to others in their circle.

"If you want to get somewhere fast, go alone. If you want to go the distance, take a team."


How do you optimize your mental game as an athletic coach? 

You already know the importance of raising your self awareness. To take that one step further, create your own board of directors. Find yourself a group of neutral third party objective mentors, coaches, or peers that you can lean on whenever you need or want it.

You deserve time and space to focus on yourself. It supports your efforts to raise yourself awareness. Finding yourself in the counsel of someone else is a REALLY powerful self-discovery tool. Plus, there's value in giving yourself time to process your highs and lows. What did you learn from them? How can you apply it to future games? Interactions with your players?

So who could you recruit?

  1. Another coach at your school
  2. The AD at your school
  3. The AD at another school
  4. Coach(es) from other schools
  5. Former coaches of yours
  6. Former athletes of yours
  7. Anyone completely removed from sports
  8. Your own mental conditioning coach


Once you've identified potential BoD members, put a game plan together for what it is you want to get out of having those specific people in your counsel.

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  • Why them? Which of their strengths compliment what you bring to the table or fill a gap for you?
  • Once you know who and why, check that you have a diverse skill set. If there are too many duplicates, keep adjusting until you find an effective mix.
  • Now that you've got who want, how do you want them to support you? What do you want from them?
  • When will you utilize them?
  • Do you meet 1:1? All together?

Get your game plan down and then communicate to them so they know what you're up to and what they can expect when they say yes.


If you're considering adding a mental conditioning coach, be intentional what you want from him/her/them as well. Everyone else you choose will likely be free because you know them personally, but if you're looking to add a paid professional know what you want so you can maximize your performance and ROI.

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A coaching relationship is very personal. You put yourself out there, you want someone you can trust. If you find yourself in the market look for:

  • Genuine curiosity - they ask more than they tell
  • Energy you resonate with - only you can know and identify that
  • Openness to succeed on your terms vs. what they want for you


Use the 10 minutes to write down a list of potential BoD members. Use 10 minutes tomorrow to put a plan together for reaching out to them. Use 10 minutes the next day to contact a few of them. So on and so forth until you have a working BoD.

If you feel inspired at this moment, take action. Any delay and you'll find excuses to talk yourself out of it. You have absolutely everything you need to be successful as an athletic coach. If you feel we might be a fit for coaching, let's chat.



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