Last week, I discovered an article on the forum of my PN Level 2 certification discussion board. I shared it online and was amazed to see how many likes, favorites and retweets I did NOT get. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not expecting record breaking organic reach, but with who I’m “friends with”, I was almost convinced more coaches would relate to the article as I felt it really hit home for many of us coaches.
If you missed it, please give it a quick read here.
I was so compelled by this piece that I felt I needed to address this head on with today’s generation of coaches. Essentialism versus traditionalism, expected versus challenged, healthy versus sick. I think it’s time to confront this once and for all.
Are you a member of OVERKILL?
Admit it. At some point or another, you’ve taken pride in being the first one in the office. You’ve set your alarm to unthinkable times just to get an advantage over the others. You took pride in working more than everyone else. You hustled for any type of slight edge, over your competitors and sharp enough for your superiors to notice.
Or maybe you were the one in charge? Expecting your staff to be there before you and leave after you? Making them suffer and “pay their dues”.
Low man on the totem pole. Work the most, get paid the least. Ahhh, the American strength coach dream.
So, you sit back and play another game of Solitaire, read another news story on ESPN.com, or get back to that stupid Crossfit fail video your buddy sent you last Monday.
Away from your spouse. Away from your kids. Away from your health.
I admit I too was a member of the “overkill cult”. Proving to my superiors that I had what it took to work 14-16 hour days, five-seven days per week, months at a time. I’d volunteer for jobs, activities, and extra hours just to keep busy. Or I’d sit in a concrete cubicle in the bottom of the athletic center just because I felt I had to “be there”.
I felt it was disrespectful if I didn’t. As if I didn’t earn the right to sleep in, or grab lunch with a friend. Hell, maybe stay up past 8pm once in awhile and catch a TV show with my fiance.
I was wrong. So wrong…
But there’s no such thing as work-life balance.
I continually strive to find some sort of “balance” between work and life. While I know there isn’t an actual formula or block schedule of success, it’s always interesting to see how much I can get done, with less and less time as the years go by. Responsibilities add up, priorities get shifted and when it’s all said and done, we do more because people expect more.
Shouldn’t we expect more of ourselves?
First marriage. Then a kid. Then another. Pretty soon, my family and I will be auditioning for a physical challenge on the Return of Double Dare. Life is happening and I need to make sure I’m not only there for it, but I’ll CONTINUE to be there for it.
A great friend and colleague of mine, Coach Brett Bartholomew of Team EXOS said the following:
Could the truth be anymore clearer?
What’s wrong with answering emails on a tablet while your infant daughter sleeps next to you on the couch?
Or work on that summer program at the local cafe where the wifi is free and refills are only 59 cents.
Or most importantly, what’s wrong with doing a GREAT job, elsewhere, at another time, with someone else around?
As I’ve shifted from the university/organization setting into the business world, I’ve dramatically altered my time management for not only myself, but for our staff as well.
- Do you have a project due? Good. Get it done. I don’t care when or where.
- Nice day out? Great. Go spend it with someone you care about and be back before the next group.
- Family in town? Awesome. Why don’t you leave or come in a little early so you can spend some real time with them so they don’t have to sit in your apartment waiting for you to come home.
Have you ever counted out how many people truly retire from the field of strength and conditioning?
I’m not talking “former coach turned equipment salesman or consultant.” I’m talking 100%, 6am whistle blowing, multiple session grinding, strength coaching until the golden age of retirement.
I have. It’s not many…at all.
So you want to do this for the rest of your life?
Here’s some advice…
Learn when to speed up, slow down and simply STOP. It’s about changing gears, when you need to, as often as you need to.
And it’s about doing your job to the best of your ability with the time you have.
Not from the time you have to steal from those around you.