If you've been reading my blog for some time you'll know that I often find inspiration in odd places. Back in 2010 I posed the question, Is Mary Poppins a Strength and Conditioning Coach? Fast forward 4-years and I've now stumbled across some coaching gold Nanny McPhee!
There are two facts that you need to be aware of as a coach.
1. Not all athletes or coaches will view your arrival positively!
Sometimes you will be faced with resistance from both the coaches and players. One of the challenges that you'll often face as a coach is establishing trust and getting 'buy in' to the work that you would like them to perform and the training interventions you would like to put in place. A lot of your work during the early stages of a support programme may be viewed with scepticism and be met with resistance. They need you but do not want you.
2. At some point you will need to stop holding your athletes hands!
There comes a point where you have to let go and stop wiping their backsides so that they can thrive as an a intelligent athlete, capable of dealing with everything that performance sport has to throw at them. Whilst we would love to be with them every step of the way, we have to remember the words of John Wooden 'the glory is in getting there' and we can't be with our athletes every step of the way.
What if the ahletes want you but no longer need you?
Enter Nanny McPhee and her pearls of wisdom that all coaches should keep in mind.
'There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It's rather sad, really, but there it is.'
I often find myself repeating this line in my head when I working with athletes.