Coaching ourselves does not work. Yes, we need to make decisions about ourselves. A mirror to see myself, make changes. That is the way it works Experimenting with the idea that I can be my own expert has backfired more than once. Someone that can help me along my path is essential. This relationship needs to be a good fit. Several coaches have helped along in my life. Trusting that each coach that comes at the right time for my learning process has helped. There needs to be a certain synchronicity in the relationship. Everyone puts out a certain vibration. I need to be sensitive to that so the relationship will grow, flourish, and be good for both me and my coach. Following my gut when I pick a coach is very important.
The first question I must ask myself is, “Am I coachable?” This may seem like a rudimentary question. We find ourselves at opposite ends of the spectrum in different times of our lives. As a youngster I went to a couple of summer camps to learn about skating and training. I met some expert coaches and started to write to them for training programs. They were Norwegian and Dutch and we wrote letters that took weeks to deliver. Geographically not being close to any coaches, I learned as much as possible, and became my own expert. Part of this result was that I developed some hard rules for my training. Unshakable in most of my ideas, I was not very coachable at the time.
An expert on many things, but still having some blockage about many ideas. Wanting to moving forward, I needed to have an attitude of acceptance and change. Accepting that I could not see myself as well as a coach could, was the ticket to progress. Open to new ideas was the key to the door.
Nancy Swider- Peltz, Sr. , my current coach, tells me that I am very coachable. Being willing to hear what she has to say, and try it to the best of my ability is my attitude. No longer having to justify my actions or thoughts, I just try to do things differently. This attitude has taken a long time to sink in. It probably ties in with my self esteem. The better I feel about myself the easier change is possible. Nancy recognizes that and helps me with that process. That is what being coachable is all about.
Nancy and I have a good fit, and we are very productive. What I bring to this relationship is good for both of us. I know and trust that.
Some of us do not have the resources for a coach. We may be held back due to finances, or geography, etc. My reccommendation is to attend as many summer camps and clinics as possible. Develop as many contacts as possible and foster those relationships. Being open to new ideas from all sources. Online capabilities are growing as well. Instant feedback may not be possible, but video, texting, email, etc, can all be tools to help your progress. We are only limited by our own imagination. Good Luck!
- American Cup Salt lake, March, 2013, Nancy Swider-Peltz, Sr. giving race splits and encouragement!