Brutal Honesty Is The Best Policy

“You can do it!”

“You got this!”

Or….

“If you do what you’re capable of, you’ve got a shot.”

“It’s going to take some time, but I think we can figure this out and make it happen.”

It wasn’t that long ago we were all glued to the TV every week to watch “The Last Dance” to be absolutely obsessed with Michael Jordan and the 90s Bulls dynasty. Every week we were discussing on social media and beyond how MJ was just this incredible tour de force and his mentality will never be replicated. He not only held himself accountable, but held every single person around the bulls franchise accountable for the success of the team. If you weren’t on the same page as Michael, you weren’t in the building, from the head coach to the security guard flipping quarters with him. Before the Last Dance, we were all reminiscing about the late Kobe Bryant and the “Mamba Mentality”, speaking about the exact same mindset. Kobe would LEAVE PRACTICE if he thought the guys weren’t good enough to push him. Watch the tapes, he didn’t tolerate “hoping to win”; you’re either on the train or on the tracks, no in between. Even after Kobe and MJ, we idolize athletes like Dame Lillard, Messi, Ronaldo, Kawhi, Brady who still have this win or go home mentality.

I believe it’s time for coaches to regain this mindset as well. It is not okay to just almost make it happen. I know not everybody’s client roster is filled with athletes or driven individuals, but that doesn’t mean a coach can’t treat them as such. I don’t care if the goal is to win the championship or just get in shape, the goal is the goal and you’re either trying or you’re not. To accept that a goal “isn’t that serious” so therefore you can treat somebody differently is complete BS. If you hire a coach or trainer, that’s an investment and it needs to be treated so. TRY AT IT. WORK. HARD. COMMIT. 

As a coach, it is important to hold everybody accountable. You were hired to complete a job, so make sure your client is working as hard as you are to accomplish the job. What does that mean? It means that when a client says “hey I didn’t get to do the session you wrote, sorry about it” you don’t respond with “no biggie there’s always next time”. You ask why. Why was the goal not a priority? Why did it all the sudden become okay to put the goal on the back burner? As a coach, you need to be able to ask that question. Now, let’s say the client is pretty consistently uncommitted, you need to be able to let them go. If they don’t line up with your style, then there’s no need for them to hold the spot. There’s plenty of athletes out there who just need the right staff supporting them. Lastly, if you’re okay with uncommitted clients and athletes, maybe you shouldn’t be a coach. Why accept money to help people accomplish their goals, no matter how big, if you don’t truly care whether or not they accomplish it? What’s the point? Be honest with yourself, are you trying to coach or are you just trying to convince people you can coach. 

Honesty is the best policy, but often the hardest virtue to uphold for struggling coaches and athletes. Accept your strengths, accept your weaknesses, and accept the strengths and weaknesses for those you surround yourself with. After that, hold yourself and everybody around you accountable for those. Make sure everybody upholds their end of the agreement to accomplish the goals at hand. Don’t idolize great mindsets like MJ and Kobe then allow shitty mindsets to take place around you. Otherwise you’ll always idolize people accomplishing more than you. 

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