9 DAILY RITUALS OF EXPERT COACHES
9 DAILY RITUALS OF EXPERT COACHES
On several occasions in the last few years, Matt and I have had the good fortune of shadowing one of the best coaches in the business– Cameron McCormick. He has been generous enough to guide our development and, for reasons unknown, continues to be invested in our progress.
While we discuss the usual things– swing technique, coaching philosophies, training techniques, etc.– some of the most important lessons that we’ve learned from him are things that we’ve never explicitly discussed. Rather, it’s the little things that he does each day that separate him from others–lesson structure, lesson plans, periodization plans, meticulous notes and record keeping, etc.
We have observed that, in addition to expert coaching practices, the well refined processes he employs are critical ingredients to his effectiveness.
Our experiences with Cameron, as well as other top coaches, have made it clear that the best are doing it differently than everyone else. There is a level of focus, intention, and vigilance that sets them apart. It inspired us to look to other expert coaches in an attempt to identify unique rituals and processes that distinguish the very best in the field.
So we corresponded with some of our friends and role models in the business in an effort to answer the following questions: What can we do ensure that we’re consistently operating at the outer limits of our abilities? How can we contribute to the coaching community while upholding our obligations to our clients? What processes can we put in place to ensure we develop and cultivate our knowledge base and practical skills?
Below we have compiled a list of daily actions utilized by some of the best coaches in the world along with some commentary from each of them.
1. DEFINE YOUR DAILY FOCUS
“I always check on the big goals/intentions and make sure that enough time and attention is devoted to those, both for VISION54 and me personally. For me, it’s so critical to keep checking up on this, since distractions are coming from everywhere. Be super clear on my main intentions for the day. I need that as a filter for what to pay attention to and not get too far off track. Have my own playing focus–what are a few things under MY control that I will stay with today.
I also meditate and have done for more than 20 years. For me it keeps me grounded and calm– I don’t get too caught up in outcomes and things outside of me. It provides daily clarity in who I am and what I want and I 100% believe in the health benefits and how it trains the brain.
Two things: be sure of my main intentions and be present/engaged.”
2. EARLY IN, LATE OUT
“I commit to knowing that my work time begins 1 hour before and 1 hour after my first and last lessons. This time frame allows me to pay attention to the details of running my business, not just showing up to give lessons and leave. I have learned that the little details matter most.”
Part of the preparation and wrap up process for James includes the development of detailed training plans for each student.
“Having an organized assessment procedure that is direct, all encompassing, and efficient is critical for formulating an improvement plan for each student. I finish every session by writing down everything in, hopefully, a simple bullet point format: Technical plan, training plan, mental plan, goals, expectations. Each student leaves with a plan which I know helps with commitment.”
3. CREATE SOMETHING EVERYDAY
“I produce and submit two videos per week. They are sent out to almost 2M opted in subscribers. The open rate is high and people are welcomed to ‘post your questions and comments down below’ in the Revolution Golf. I plan about one hour each evening to blog and engage these viewers. The engagement is key to building relationships so they think of you when a golf school comes to mind.”
4. REACH OUT AND INTERACT
“Tracking down bits of information and talking to others is a daily routine. I talk to people and I listen to them. I learn from them and I question them and we both learn together. I try to provide info, when possible, that I think might be interesting, controversial or new.”
5. CAPITLIZE ON YOUR DOWNTIME
“One of the best practices that I did for several years was what I called attending ‘Automobile University’. I listened to Audio Programs on Personal Development, Marketing, Leadership and Communication for at least an hour per day for 3 years straight which was generally my car ride to and from work. I figure that I have a Masters degree, for sure. My favorite speakers are Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar. I read a lot of books about golf related subjects but tried to increase my knowledge in as many areas outside of my box as well. This would include reading books on – Coaching other sports, People skills, Marketing, Communication, Leadership and Personal Development. I worked on my weaknesses that I needed to improve to reach my goals which were public and speaking, marketing and leadership.
I also Keep a Journal which allows me to make notes from the day or in the middle of the night when I get an idea that I don’t want to forget. Writing has always helped me to organize my cluttered mind and helps keep me focused on the task at hand. I now have collected about 15 journals over the years that I can always refer to when I need a new idea or can’t remember something. I always have a notebook in my pocket filled with lists, ideas and notes that I take throughout my day which I have found helpful over the years as well.”
6. THOUGHTFUL STUDENT CORRESPONDENCE
“I almost always look at my players stats for that day or for an event at night and sometimes text them some ideas on what pops out to focus on in adjusting or sticking to the plan. Sometimes I just make a note of it in my head for use down the road – timing is everything. I text my players so they know I am thinking about them. Sometimes it is not even about golf– just how are you making out, other times it could be very specific to a focus or priority in their game or swing.”
7. FOLLOW THROUGH
“Generally, I’m big on finishing things that I start and following up on my word. If I told someone that I’d do something, the worst thing is not to do it. In order to remember this stuff I have to keep a list on paper or in my app, ‘Remember the Milk.’
On a day to day basis, I like to finish all of the things that I can easily do right away so I don’t forget about them. For instance, returning calls, following up on an order or email. I don’t like to let my to-do list get long unnecessarily.”
8. SHARE SOMETHING EVERYDAY
“I try to give something away everyday – whether it be instruction, a golf article, a video or even just a great golf image. Just something that a fellow golf geek like myself would find interesting. I make sure that I get something to my followers before I start teaching. At the end of the day I generally spend 20-30 minutes responding to questions on social media and looking through my feeds for anything of interest. If I find something I will share either on Twitter or on my FB golf page.”
“I know that the quality of what I do goes down if I get burned out and I have found that getting away from it and enjoying some family time is vital for me.”
A huge thanks to these coaches for taking some time out of their purpose-filled days to provide insights into their daily routines.
Nothing under the sun is new. Since the beginning of time people have grown on the shoulders of others. Many of the great ideas and discoveries of the world are the direct result of an individual’s interaction with an existing idea, a predecessor, or mentor. It pays, therefore, to learn from the top performers in any domain to see what processes they have in place that enable them to operate at such consistently high levels.
There are many ways in which the daily habits of industry leaders can help us. We hope you think so too – remember; sometimes the most impactful things can be the most simplistic.
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