The Golden Rule of Coaching

By Craig Hysell

Coaching is nuanced, and that’s what makes it fun. It’s constantly evolving. We, as coaches, are constantly learning.

Scientific research validates our approaches or evolves them. New technology gives us new/different ways to observe movement or measure theory.

We live in exciting times and it can be hard to keep up. What is “right” or “wrong” is often debated.

The dynamic nature of coaching is what makes coaching an art. If there was a “one size fits all” blueprint for success coaching would, in all honesty, be boring.

However, as with any successful art form, mechanical rendering or principle-based system there are certain foundational building blocks that must be present for achievement.

As Walter said in The Big Lebowski, “This is not ‘Nam, there are rules.”

There is a “Golden Rule” in coaching. Coaches who abide this “Golden Rule” do the following:

  • Stay up late or get up early, farming articles and doing research.
  • Do not ask what they can get, they ask how they can serve.
  • Put out content, often for free, simply because they NEED to.
  • Listen first, speak last, speak honestly and speak simply.
  • Have clients/athletes thank them for becoming not just better at their sport, but better at life.
  • Put in the hours when nobody’s watching them… or paying them.
  • Coach the person first and the movement second.
  • Have long lines of well wishers at their funerals.
  • Get to work early and stay late
  • Make sure the facility/equipment stays clean and the client/athlete is meeting the agreed upon expectations
  • Have boundaries and take time for themselves daily so that they can be better for others and avoid burnout

So what’s “The Golden Rule”? Care about the person in front of you.

If you remember to care about the person in front of you, your career will be long, productive and satisfying. You will avoid semantics and focus on progress. You will avoid politics and focus on what is just. You will avoid “cheap tricks” and focus on value.

If you ever get lost, simply ask yourself, “How is what I’m doing right now benefitting the person in front of me?”

Deploy The Golden Rule consistently and you will have clients lining up outside your door. If The Dude abides, so can we. Our impact and our happiness depends on it.

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