RK Tip of the Week|Mike Singletary’s words for athletes & coaches

Posted on June 30, 2010


You may not own a championship ring or have coached some of the best & brightest in professional sports – but you are indeed a coach and an athlete, all wrapped up in a normal adult, 9-5 job, minivan-driving, package. An athlete is anyone who is working toward an end result, rising to the competitive challenge. And a coach is anyone motivated to help others rise to a new level of success – parents raising kids, team leaders coaching fellow employees, friends motivating friends….it’s all coaching!

Here are the top 3 things Mike Singletary, coach of the San Francisco 49’s, had to say at a recent speaking engagement a my church with regard to athletes & below that, the top 3 things he has to say to coaches.

To Athletes (& yes, you are one, so listen up):

1. Develop a vision for what you want to achieve. The difference between a goal and a vision- a vision moves you past “want to” to “need to”; it creates an internal fire that pushes you to work harder, commits you to doing what it takes to get the job done.

2. Have discipline. You have to earn the right to have success – you don’t get success just by showing up. You get it by staying late, showing up early. Success isn’t given to just everyone – it’s given to those who pay their dues.

3. Commitment. Create one for yourself to your vision AND the tasks it’s going to take to get to your vision. You can commit to a goal but not commit to the work that must be done to get there & you will be no farther along than every other average Joe. Commitment has a price involved – and that price will NEVER involve convenience. It will not be convenient to be committed.

To Coaches (you’re one of these too, pay attention):

1. Be brutally honest. Coach Singletary tells his players that they will decide their future on the team, not him. If you keep it soft & fluffy, you do no one any favors.

2. Set the example. Never expect someone to do something that you yourself are not doing (or are willing to do). You need to show up early, stay late, choose wisely if you expect someone you’re coaching to do the same.

3. Discipline fairly. It may not be equal but it will be fair. You will (and should) expect more out of your stars & teach your others that you CAN expect more of them – they will rise to the level that you treat them, if you treat them all fairly.

I hope you’ll take some nuggets out of here & apply them to your life, your kids, your work, your fitness habits, anything that you find yourself filling the role of athlete or coach! If we all rise to the challenge of our inner athlete & hold ourselves to the commitment of being a coach to someone – what an incredibly huge amount of achievement is possible!