Admitting When You Don’t Know Something to Become a Better Coach
By Wil Fleming
Nearly everyone wants to be a better version of themselves. Some of us want to BE that better version and work to get there, and some of us want to appear to be that better version of ourselves.
This post is about becoming that better version of you and one simple tip to get to that place.
Let me first take you to a position you have been in before…
Sitting in a room full of great coaches, listening to a coaching idol talk about a high level training topic, and words start coming out of the coaches mouth that you don’t understand.
What should you do?
Should you continue to appear to be the better version of yourself or should you take this opportunity to become the better version of yourself. At that moment you have an opportunity to improve, to become a better coach.
You just have to take that opportunity and grab it. Don’t shrink from it.
Right then and there it is time to stop and ask your questions and get clarity. This is not an OK to stop somebody in the middle of a presentation, but at least grab them after they leave the stage.
Let me take you to another scenario that has happened to each of us…
One of your athletes, or another coach asks you a question about training. You may know the answer, but you might be stretching the truth or your knowledge a bit.
You can do one of two things, you can give the answer as you know it and appear to be correct right then and there, or you can say “I am not exactly sure, let me find that out for you.”
In each scenario you can choose to appear correct or smart, or you can choose to become correct or become smarter. In one case you can grow as a coach and in the other you can stay exactly where you are. It’s literally up to you.
The easiest way to become a better coach is to ask someone else for help, ask for their advice, or get their guidance. The worst case scenario is not that they say “no, thank you,” the worst case scenario is never asking in the first place.
Allow Yourself to Become a Better Coach
I would not be where I am today if I did not stop and ask the experts for their advice. It doesn’t hurt that we are living in a golden age of communication and connection. In a matter of minutes you could get on Twitter, get on Facebook, or search someone’s blog and have access to the best coaches in the world. Ten years ago this was not possible.
Ten years ago I could not message Glenn Pendlay on Facebook on a Monday and be in his training hall learning from him on the same Saturday. Everything about coaching and being a better professional has become extremely accelerated.
Ten years ago I could not ask Coach Dos a training question in the middle of a heated game of Words with Friends. Today I can do that.
Today, this is only impossible if I choose not to ask the question. You and I have no excuse for not being a better coach. You can pose as a great coach or you can be a great coach. There is absolutely no in-between.
Great coaches are not satisfied with just being a good coach now. Look to become a better coach and go ask the questions that will get you there.