Reaching Your Full Potential

People look towards family and close friends for support. How often do these requests get laughed at? Ignored? Supported? Or encouraged? No matter the outcome, these situations strengthen connections and can often help when reaching your full potential.

Find what you love.

I’ve come up with some fairly off-the-wall ideas from paintball, laser tag to a web design/development firm. All of them have come crashing down with love and support of our families. They knew we wouldn’t succeed, because we were capable of so much more and our hearts weren’t in it.

I recently had a discussion with a Gen X’er about how Millennial’s (such as myself) often job hop. My question, why is this a bad thing? Sometimes you need to job hop! It’s the easiest way to stop doing something you do not enjoy.

Want to reach your full potential? Know what you do not want to do and what you are not capable of doing. In Jay Baer’s terms, “stop doing what you are not uniquely qualified to do.”

Succeed, no matter what!

Success is hard to come by, expect and embrace failure. Reaching your full potential will be lined with success, but it will also be entangled by failure. Success is not determined by failure, but your reaction.

Failure should not be intertwined with “I give up.” Instead, you should react with “okay, this method does not work. How can I improve it?” Your drive and determination contribute to your success.

Reaching your full potential.

In a previous post, Reaffirming a Coaching Career, a former swimmer of mine shared why my belief in him proved to be beneficial. Find someone that inspires you to do great things.

Having someone believe and share in your success, is a great inspirational tool.

How have you helped someone reach their full potential? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Staying Motivated by Setting Goals

Everyone takes their eyes off the goal. Everyone. Who remembers Michael Phelps’ incident after the 2008 Olympics? What about Ryan Lochte, did you even know he was debating skipping the 2016 Olympics, but recently changed his mind?

See, even gold medal athletes get distracted.

Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
-Vince Lombardi

Staying Motivated

There are thousands of articles on how to stay motivated. The best way to stay motivated is:

  1. Have someone push you
  2. Set goals
  3. Have FUN

Most athletes take the fun out of working out. Yes, it’s a workout. No it’s not always fun. How many people are like me and workout alone? Are you more motivated to workout the next time? Probably not. I’m not.

Having fun while working out OR having fun with your workout group is an easy way to stay motivated.

Setting Goals

How great of a feeling is it to cross something off your “to-do list”? Create one with your workout! Keep yourself motivated by setting realistic and attainable workout goals. In the Patriot Mel Gipson tell’s his son “aim small, miss small.” While it’s slightly out of context, it still applies.

Set small attainable goals and keep yourself and others excited about what’s next!

Make Workouts Fun!

For me, I work harder on challenging sets. Not just because they are challenging, but because they are fun. Coaches can motivate their athletes by creating challenging sets that make an athlete think. Individuals should create challenging and fun workout environments by creating games, goals and competitions between workout partners.

Some of the best workouts I ever got as an athlete were on game days. From water polo to Ultimate Frisbee (or Ultimate Med-Ball for those up to a true challenge) choose a game where you can be challenged mentally and physically.

What about you?

How do you stay motivated during your workouts? Or, how do you keep your athletes motivated? Share your feedback in the comments below.

Reaffirming a Coaching Career Choice

Recently, I received a series of text messages from a former swimmer. I only coached this athlete for two high school seasons and not only did he have an impact on my life, but these messages clearly showed that I had an impact on his as well.

Hey Coach Greg! I just wanted to shoot you a quick text here. I just wanted to let you know how grateful I was to have had you as my head coach senior year. I know this might be a little late, but my family and I were discussing swim season and I was describing my senior season to them and out of all the sports and coaches I have had you were the most inspiring to me. You inspired a goof of a kid with some talent to put his mind and will to a sport and team and I will always appreciate that. You taught me valuable life lessons that I will carry for the rest of my life…senior year was such a blast and seeing you behind us not only as a coach but as friends too meant a lot to me. Seeing you get emotional at conference truly I feel was the moment that defined you as a coach. Emotional, yet reserved and fully supportive of everybody on the team. Not just varsity, but also JV. Even if you may have some things you would’ve changed or done differently if you had a second chance, just know that I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. That season, that team was the best of my high school career. You believed in me when other coaches didn’t, and sometimes that’s all someone really needs is someones belief in them. The only thing I might have changed is to have you as my coach for my whole high school career (haha). I just thought I should give a long deserved thanks from me to you Coach Greg. I hope that you have luck in coaching because you’re one damn good coach.

Comments like this help reaffirm a coaching career choice. Because of these athletes I will always make the time and invest in their success.

Who have you heard from and what have they said to make what you do mean even more?

Coaches and Our Health

The other day, I finally decided to weigh myself. I weighed in at 194.4lbs. New goal, weigh in the 180′s before August 11.

The immediate question on my mind is not, “why don’t I take better care of myself.” Rather it’s “why is it coaches seem to take better care of their athletes than themselves.” Maybe I’m wrong, but I would love for others to chime in.

So I want to reach out to all gathering ideas on the subject and how we can change our actions to better portray the things we teach.

Edit: The “ideal body weight” for my height (6’0″) is 140 – 184lbs.

2011-2012 Season Recap

It’s simple, Coaches and athletes have to have goals. However, you have to make sure that the athletes and coaching staff buy into those goals and are all on the same page too. How do you do that? How does it work? What does it look like before/during/after? Well, this season was all about that.

This season was a different monster; it was something I wasn’t quite ready for. I was responsible for practice development, discipline and general team maintenance. It was new and I was afraid of it, but I know that it helped me grow further than I thought possible in 5 months.

Meeting Challenges with Open Arms

Ask anyone around me, I was nervous (looking back on it, I still am). However, I knew that with hard work, dedication, research and a little luck our season would be a success.

The very first challenge I had to overcome was the fear of practice development and drafting meet lineups. This wasn’t an easy task by any means. For me, practice development takes a very long time. I’ve taken some advice from Glenn Mills from GoSwim.TV and GoSwimTV.com in regards to “write practices you would want to swim” and integrated that into my practice writing. My goal was to create challenging sets mentally and physically – mix it up and make them think about what they were swimming, instead of just doing it.

Gaining Respect and Faith in Leadership

While I say that practice development was the biggest challenge, I also knew that gaining respect would be difficult. Luckily, I worked with most of these athletes in the previous year. Consistency in a coaching staff created a very solid foundation with the athletes in our program. (It also helps to come from the former head coaches “tree”)

For some, it took weeks to buy into the program direction. However by mid December, after the Marion County Championship Meet, it seemed like people had bought in. This was clear by the success we had at Conference and Sectionals, but we had some great times at a variety of other meets along the path.

Respect is earned and cannot be expected nor forced. It’s hard gaining respect and I believe that a person’s character can lead to the success or failure of gaining that respect.

Finally….

The season ended with a bang. The girls finished strong. We had many athletes finish within the top 16 at sectionals and we ended up finishing 4th overall, what impressed me more was the poise at which they swam. We didn’t have nearly as much fear as we have in the past. The girls were confident and calm; they swam like it too.

The boys finished the season strong as well, including having at least one swimmer in every event. The meet started and finished the strongest, with our 200 medley and 400 free relay setting new school records.

I’m extremely proud I was a part of these teams and look forward to continuing my coaching career.

Law of the Lid

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of LeadershipRecently I was given a copy of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and decided that I will partake in applying these laws to my life online.

My hope is that I can also urge you, my readers and friends, to also partake and keep me accountable for my goals, dreams and ambitions as I also help you.

  • List some of your Major Goals. No more than 10; No less than 5. Figure out which ones need help.
    1. Become a Head Coach of a HS or Club Program
    2. Achieve Level 3 ASCA Certification or Higher
    3. Prove my self as knowledgeable in Leadership/Coaching
    4. Become a speaker on leadership and motivation for athletes/workers
    5. Get involved with post-college athletic groups, such as Master’s Swimming programs
  • Assess your leadership ability. Questions not shown as respect the author and his work.
    • Strengths – Legacy, Growth, Buy-In, The Picture, Empowerment, Inner Circle, Magnetism, Intuition, Respect, Solid Ground, and Addition. From what I gather, it goes along the same lines of other analysis that I have done. I’m attracted to people and people are generally attracted to me. Essentially, I am a people person. I like to network and talk, and can seemingly gain their trust through example.
    • Needs Work – Timing, Sacrifice, Priorities, Momentum, Victory, Navigation, Influence, the Lid. What this is telling me is that I have to do a better job of increasing my effectiveness as a leader and rate on a better scale. Not only that, but I also need the willingness to sacrifice my personal time and set better priorities for myself and my teams that I work with.
    • Weaknesses – Process. Upon the first completion of the analysis this is the only area that is a true weakness. The process at which I grow needs work. I’d like some help in how to develop a prices of personal growth that I can engage in and would like some classes, articles or books to help improve myself in this category.
  • Finally, ask others to rate your leadership ability. This is something I’ve not done and I would welcome those of you that read this and know me to do so.

John Wooden on Character

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

This quote really resonates with me. As I was tweeting back and forth with a few friends, there was a sense of humility.

The reason this quote speaks to me so much is just that, you should have humility. Let other people tell you that you do a good job. Ask for that recommendation letter or LinkedIn recommendation.

Simple Workout Ideas

Everyone’s busy. How do you manage to get a workout in? Do you have an expensive gym membership? Do you just walk or run around your neighborhood? Or do you have trouble finding the motivation to do a workout?

Today, I’m going to give you just a few simple workout ideas using nothing but a resistance band, AKA Stretch Cords.

Resistance bands come in different lengths and resistance levels. The nice thing about using resistance bands is that you don’t have to worry about dropping something heavy on your foot, so this makes for a nice workout even when you are alone.

Find the Bands that work for You

Luckily for the consumer, some giant supermarket stores have a variety pack of Resistance bands. The package that I purchased a few years back included 2 short bands, 2 long and some weird ankle thing (I never have used it) and handles.

This is great because you get multiple resistances easily, and you can adjust between sets or between various exercises. If one band is too light, switch to the other. Still not what you want? Use both!

3 Simple Workouts

In these workouts make sure you are slow and controlled. The best part about using the band is that you can truly feel when you are out of control.

  • Bicep Curl – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart (SWA) on the band. Make sure the band is tight enough to give you resistance while standing straight. Loop the band by your feet and stand on it to adjust resistance.
  • Tricep Extension – Stand w/feet SWA and pull the band over your head. Extend your arms until they are straight. I recommend keeping the band BEHIND you. Also, make sure to keep your elbows in towards your head.
  • Figure 8′s – Start with your arms at your side. Again Feet should be be SWA. Make a figure 8 with your hand and arm. Your Palm should always be facing the way you are moving. This is very useful for people with Rotator Cuff problems.
  • Others – For more workout ideas with a Resistance band visit the Sports Injury Clinic website

All you have to do is couple this with some ab work and maybe a quick run and you’ve got a full body workout without ever having to go to the gym.

Now, these are some very simple workouts that you can do at home or even at the office for a short break. I wish you all the best and feel free to post any questions or comments below!

Determining your Motivation Style

If you’ve ever watched a college basketball game, the coaching staff in the locker room is trying to “psych” up the team. Sometimes it works; however, it also creates undue stress in what could be your top performers.

Motivation isn’t something that can be taught. It’s also something that a coach or parent shouldn’t be in control of. Allowing an athlete the ability to stay relaxed in a familiar environment is more of a motivation than anything that a coach or parent can say. Staying relaxed and following your routine is vital to performing at your optimum level.

Motivational Styles

  • Fear – The “If you don’t do it, you’ll pay” mentality. Seems to be the old school thought process. Punishment is NOT a motivating factor. It actually causes people to tense up and play/work worse than they would if they were in a calm mindset.
  • Incentives – “If you do it, you can have _____ in return.” Might work for some people, however, it’s putting too much pressure on people to earn the goal. They won’t even appreciate what’s going on around them. This isn’t motivation to play better; it’s only to get the prize.
  • Purpose – This is where a coach, parent or boss’ focus needs to be with athletes or workers. It creates a long term motivational effect. Setting seasonal, monthly and/or yearly goals are the best way to motivate through purpose. However, it’s not just a coach or boss that needs to set these goals. Talk to your team and have them set the goals, your job? Make sure they mesh with what you are trying to accomplish in your program. In turn, these goals will help individuals meet end of the season/year incentives. These can include: Work Bonuses, MVP Awards or even a chance to participate at a State competition.

So, how do I motivate people around me? I give them praise for doing well and recognize their hard work. Sometimes just saying “Thanks for working hard this week” will give someone enough motivation to keep it up. I also allow them the chance to relax they way they want, while making sure they are in the correct physical and mental shape. There is one last piece of the puzzle that I have not mentioned. You have to be motivated yourself. Is it possible to lead a team as an unmotivated leader? In short, no, you have to want to be there in order to motivate others. People will feed off of it and give you the best results.

Now it’s your turn! How do you motivate your employees, athletes or children? How do you motivate yourself? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Swim Coach and Online Marketer