The Power of the Coach and Success

Learn Five Principles the World's Best Coaches Use to Help Athletes Succeed

Each year the world's best World Cup Freestyle Skiers come to Deer Valley, Utah, to compete on the champion course (the same course of the 2002 Olympic Games). This World Cup event is seen as the Super Bowl of Freestyle Skiing with night time crowds that reach thousands.

Behind each of these great athletes is a great coach. These coaches train, guide, and inspire each athlete to achieve strong performance and individual greatness. As a former competitive freestyle athlete, my coaches played a huge part to my success on and off the hill.

The relationship between a coach and an athlete is very special. I grabbed my camera during the 2015 World Cup at Deer Vally to capture these awesome interactions. I hope you enjoy my short video called Coach. This video is dedicated to the freestyle coaches who make a big impact on global communities. Thank You. 

You can watch the video below.

Our First Coaches, Our Parents

As we grow up, we are surrounded by coaches. Some of our first coaches in life are our parents. They are our first believers. They encourage us to crawl, walk, and run. Our parents teach us that it's OK to fall down, but that we need to quickly get back up and move forward.

I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by awesome parents who see my potential, believe in me, and teach me sound principles to be successful in life. They have been my greatest coaches. When life is great, they celebrate with me. When I'm faced with trials, they support me. My parents have taught me that true happiness is found in the daily pursuit to make others feel loved and happy. This principle has helped shape my life.

Coaches Push Us to Become Better

After our parents, many of use find our first coaches during our pursuit of athletics. These new coaches start by teaching us the principles of a given sport or discipline. We learn very quickly that they are not our parents. Their feedback is not sugar coated and many times they let us know that we can do better, that our potential is much greater than our current effort. We start to learn that this is a great thing and that many of our new accomplishments come because they (our coach) push us to become better.

Surround Yourself with Believers

Coaches come with many different personalities. This is also good. Each personality type can provide us with a different perspective as we pursue success in athletics. The most important trait of great coaches is their ability to recognize areas we can improve and combine that feedback with a positive nudge of encouragement that drives progression. They become our believers. It's important to surround ourselves with coaches who believe in us.

Freestyle Skiing Coaches, Thank You

Athletic coaches have been a huge part of my life. They have helped me achieve many of my goals. They helped me get rid of bad habits and build a strong foundation on principles. As a think back on my freestyle mogul skiing career, I'm grateful to the coaches that invested time to shape me as a skier and a competitor.

As I think back on how they helped me succeed, I found five coaching principles:

5 Principles Great Coaches Use to Help Others Succeed

1. A Coach Invests Time

The best coaches invest a lot of time in getting to know their athlete or student. They will get to know their life on and off the competitive field. They will also invest thousands of hours in getting to know their athletes. They will know their strengths, weaknesses, and very quickly show them to arrive at their potential by working hard every day. The success comes when the student listens, applies the learning, and makes it a habit.

2. A Coach Teaches Principles

Great coaches teach principles to their students. These coaches understand that all greatness and innovation in sport and life come from a very strong understanding of the basic principles. As a coach teaches basic principles, it's up to the athlete to listen and work hard to make the principle part of their DNA. Great coaches know the basics, the foundational principles that will help each athlete arrive at success.

3. A Coach Believes

Even though a coach can critique athletes daily, the best coaches let their athletes know that they believe in them. At the end of the day, this belief will fuel passion and drive each athlete to do better. The best coaches let their students know where they stand and the next steps to arrive at their potential. 

4. A Coach Mentors

Because coaches have many more years of experience, they can step back and truly mentor their athletes. This requires athletes to be humble and coachable. Being coachable is the one trait found in most champions.  Coaches can quickly see when an athlete is on or off their game. They also quickly mentor with principles to help athletes quickly refocus towards success. 

5. A Coach Provides a New Perspective

Like having a camera from different angles, a coach provides a new and fresh perspective to their athletes. As an athlete pursues success, a coach's perspective can help them make the required adjustments to do things better. Many times athletes have a myopic view of their progression toward goals. A coach's perspective can be the catalyst for change and the mechanism to help the athlete arrive at their potential and achieve success.

I'm grateful to all the coaches in my life. If you are currently coaching somebody, remember these five principles. Being a coach is a privilege and if done right has the ability to have a lasting positive impact on somebody's life.

Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.
— Pete Carroll, NCAA/NFL, Championship Coach