sent by Nick Grantham | 16th March 2021
I consider myself a specialist-generalist, and I've been fortunate enough to work with a wide range of athletes in thirty-six different sports. Some may think this to be a disadvantage. Some may feel that I've never really focused my attention or dedicated myself to one sport. I suppose on some level, they could be right. But, I've learned that the experiences gained across multiple sports working with thousands of athletes from a diverse range of backgrounds have afforded me the ability to walk into a new sport with numerous viewpoints. I don't just see what has worked in one sport. I can magpie experiences from action sports, or combat sports and apply them to football or rugby. Sure, becoming a master of one is an option, but sometimes being a jack of all helps you to break free from the constraints of a traditional view.
A few years ago, I discussed the importance of aligning the resources you have at your disposal with the programme you're developing. I explained that you should orientate the programme around the available resources and physical attributes of the athlete. The person I was speaking to looked at me and said, "well, Nick, you can only piss with the cock you've got!" His comment stopped me in my tracks! It's a bit crude, it's a bit rude, but it's bloody spot on! Too often, coaches try to recreate programmes from other teams or spend ages crafting the perfect plan. They fail to realise that the resources available to them are far from optimal, and their ideal plan is likely to fail. Understand what you are working with, and then develop a plan that fits.
I'm approached regularly for career advice from aspiring strength and conditioning coaches and sport scientists about breaking into professional sport and establishing a career pathway. Conversations often centre around financial insecurities, long hours, personal sacrifices etc. It's easy to pick holes and find reasons not to enter the industry and why countless other career pathways could provide higher income and job security levels. Indeed, coaches are lining up on social media only too willing to paint a bleak picture. However, I'm not one of them. I accept that there are potentially a lot of negatives that come with a job in performance sport, but it can also be a fantastic ride. I encourage every one of the aspiring coaches I talk to to be optimistic but make sure that they enter with their eyes wide open.
Source: Nelson Mandella
It seems that people don't want to do their time. Everyone is in a rush to get to the next stage. There are times when I see colleagues focusing on their next move, the next opportunity that will take them onto pastures new. The problem is that they are so busy figuring out how to get onto the 'next big thing' that they are not making the most of their current situation. Sometimes the things that they are striving for are already right in front of them. Make the most of your current role. New opportunities will come if you exercise a little patience.
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