post by corey lundberg

an annual review for coaches

Like most people– in the last week I have taken a moment to reflect back on the notable events of the last year, re-examine my goals, evaluate my progress, and make plans for a new year.

Inevitably, this annual ritual forces you to contemplate why some goals get accomplished and others never come to fruition.

With each passing year, I begin to realize more and more that the goals I achieve are always supported by a detailed group of actions.  Actions which require satisfying work that are aligned with my interests, passions, and sense of purpose. 

The goals that never materialize are always vague in both scope and the actions assigned to them.  These unfulfilled goals don’t particular appeal to my passions and are never reframed in a way that motivates me to continually strive for them.  Instead of representing something I want to accomplish, they feel more like things I am supposed to accomplish.

Here is an example – “Exercise more”.


Brilliant, right?  I didn’t stop there, I assigned some half-hearted actions to accompany that goal, but I never followed through for a couple big reasons:

Last week, I had the opportunity to conduct annual reviews for the Assistant Professionals at my club.  I noticed the same was true for them.  Even though we were following the standard ‘SMART’ rules of goal setting, the unreached goals either:

And just like me, all of their major accomplishments for the year:

So with that in mind and with inspiration from Chris Guillebeau’s Art of Non-Conformity Annual Review, I have refined my Annual Review work flow to better address these issues.  I have listed the steps below and hope that you will take a few moments to complete them for yourself.

It won’t take more than thirty minutes and it might just reveal some answers that alter your entire year.

Grab a pen and some paper and take action now!



Reflect back on the last year and write your answers to the following questions.

– What were my biggest accomplishments?

If you have a list of goals from last year, it will be easier to answer this question.  Chances are, you accomplished more than you give yourself credit for in the span of 365 days.  What were the big highlights of the year?  What did you learn?  How did you grow?  How did you surprise yourself?  What milestones defined your year?

– What would I have changed if I had it to do over again?

What about those items on your goal list that weren’t accomplished?  Before you beat yourself up, decide if they are still relevant.  That’s what makes this process difficult.  A year’s work is an adventure.  As circumstances, interests, focus inevitably changes, so will the goals.  And if they’re still relevant and went unachieved– were they within your control?

This question requires you to consider any disappointments and the reasons they occurred.

– What areas did I excel in that differentiate myself from other coaches?

Here is the superpower question.  What made Superman– Superman?  He could fly.  Now, he was also faster than a speeding bullet, but the flying part is the real claim to fame.  So what separates you from other coaches that makes you– you?  As an example, consider some of your ‘heroes’ in the coaching industry and their superpowers.

Dave Phillips: golf fitness.  Jeff Ritter: branding, YouTube instruction.  Sean Foley: elite player development.  John Graham: social media, putting instruction.  Brian Manzella: Trackman, research.  Henry Brunton: program design, elite junior instruction.  Martin Chuck: innovation, training aids.

While these coaches certainly have a breadth of skills and knowledge beyond the skill listed above, these are qualities that distinguish them.  I don’t know all of those coaches personally, but through their work, I have associated them with certain skills.  To me, that is how they are known.  What are you known for?  And if you don’t have an answer, what do you want to be known for?  The answer to this question is massively important in developing goals and missions relevant to your unique set of skills.

– What were your 3 favorite activities in the last year?

In the same spirit of the ‘superpower question’, this is the ‘passion question’.  Chances are, your answers to this question are closely aligned with the niche of coaching in which your true passion resides.

While the majority of the workforce toils away in endless pursuit of connecting their life’s passions with their life’s work, golf coaches are lucky.  We have found our passion.  But if you examine the specific areas that evoke the most exhilaration in your daily work,  you’ll discover goals that you are more likely to stick to and accomplish.

Building goals around these activities assures a sense of excitement and challenge.


List the areas of your coaching business that you feel require some attention this year.  Pick 5-10 areas that are significant to your development.

Now that you have reflected back on the highs and lows of last year, it’s time to narrow your focus for the new year.  Identify a few areas that will be particularly important to you.

Every coach will have unique areas of focus.  Here are some possible categories specific to golf coaching to consider:


If we keep our eye on the larger purpose, what will emerge are goals that are naturally consistent with it. – Fred Shoemaker

Based on your previous answers (superpower, passions, focus), create a broad statement that will describe the theme for your year. 

Every decision, every action, every project throughout the year can be dictated by the powerful sense of ‘purpose’ that the theme statement provides.  Does the proposed action support or contradict my ultimate purpose?  

If you have trouble with this one, take a hard look at your previous answers. Your theme should be a combination of your superpower, passions, and areas of focus.  In the spirit of sharing and to get your wheels turning, here is my theme statement for the year:

2013 is the Year of Growth: After establishing a few major projects in the last couple of years (instruction programs, club events, blog, etc), this year I will focus on growing them to the next level to reach more students/members/coaches.


Within each area of focus, list 2-3 specific goals.

Think big! Make sure that each goal is both measurable and challenging. Search for goals that will take you to the brink of your ability levels. Shoot too low and you risk boredom, too high and you’ll be overwhelmed.

Only choose goals that you can accompany with a quantifiable metric.  When it is time to track your goals throughout the year, you will be able to objectively measure your progress.  Possible metrics for coaches include:


List 10 major projects that you will complete this year.

A super hero can’t use his superpower if there are no missions.  Creating projects that support your goals is the most important step of the Coach’s Annual Review.

This entire exercise has prepared you for this step– to design meaningful projects that guarantee progress towards your goal.  Completion of these projects become the milestone events that define your year.

If my driving theme for the year is growth, I will design projects that will help me realize that outcome.  Like experimenting with different mediums for this blog (video) that could grow the readership.  Or implementing an improved pricing model that makes my coaching programs more accessible to more of my membership.  Any challenging activity that will contribute to my greater purpose for the year.

Not only do these projects narrow your focus and guarantee progress, but they encourage you to remain present and to appreciate the exhilaration of each step of the journey.  The projects provide the fun parts of the year that produce satisfying and invigorating rushes of accomplishment.  These are the moments that keep you going and motivated to tackle the next challenging endeavor.


Schedule times to track your progress and re-focus on your theme.  Pick a time/day that you will routinely review this process and write it down on a calendar, at least monthly, preferably weekly.

On your sheet of paper, you should have the a few key pieces of information to track throughout the year:

To guarantee progress, keep these key pieces of information top of mind.  Most people list their goals and resolutions at the beginning of the year and file them away forever.  Revisiting your purpose, goals, and missions will help you transform your goals from hopes to reality.

I hope this exercise will help make 2013 your best year yet.  By taking the time to plan and really think through what you hope to accomplish, you are already off to a great start.

After you complete this Annual Review please share some of your goals and projects in the comment section to encourage others to participate in the process and get the wheels turning.

Who knows what we can accomplish this year.  It is with great curiosity and excitement that I look forward to finding out!

– CL

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  1. Corey,

    Another fantastic newsletter. Thanks for sharing the to Art of Non-Conformity site. Just spent an enjoyable hour combing through a small portion of some of the great writings on that site.

    Thanks again. Best wishes in 2013.

    1. Steve,
      AONC is a great resource. Most of his stuff is aimed at entrepreneurs but many of the concepts are easily applied to coaches/small business. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Corey- Fantastic article! You’ve organized all of my thoughts about the upcoming year and created a strong motivational map for me to grow as a golf professional. Thank You! Keep up the good work!

    See you in 2013!


    1. Christy,
      Hope it helps! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Once you complete it… feel free to share some of your goals or missions. Might be good for some others to read and could even create some accountability for yourself!

      1. My very unorganized list of thoughts, concepts, goals, plans, missions, etc…..once organized will be here for the world to see. I really like what you’re doing and the framework with which you’ve packaged it. Thank you for helping myself (and others) grow.

    1. Sara,
      Slight difference in volume and frequency, but I hope you look forward to posts like I look forward to your tweets. I promise I wouldn’t share without all the inspiration from pros like you who engage and share so generously.

  3. Corey
    Very well thought out post with excellent info that many can use. I look forward to seeing your growth in all areas in the next year. You are on the fast track to success for sure. Keep gathering info and sharing. Look forward to seeing some videos from you. Hint…also Make sure you set a goal to tweet more in 2014 🙂 See you soon


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