I was blessed with the opportunity to coach an extremely talented young man. He is a nationally ranked high school quarterback with aspirations to be at the top of the league amongst NCAA quarterbacks as well as being a standout student amongst his peers and a loyal friend.
We will call him Brett, as I respect his privacy and confidentiality immensely.
Brett and I have been coaching for quite a few months now. He and his parents came to me looking to discover more powerful ways for him to be a leader on the field and how he can fully believe in his abilities as an athlete. He was searching for his confidence, his voice, and that fulfilling feeling of “I created this.”
As Brett shared with me his journey of developing into one of the top elite high school quarterbacks in Arizona we discussed a lot about “self”. Brett would share with me that he watches elite NCAA and NFL quarterbacks in order to model himself and his playing style after them. It was fascinating to see how skilled he is at picking up the little details and his commitment to endlessly drilling and training in order to perfect his game.
After a few sessions, we discovered that many times during “in the game” moments he would have to search through his mental database to connect with how this player performed in that scenario or what would this elite player do in the same situation. This would cause him to lose focus……just for the shortest amounts of time….which usually caused feelings of anxiety or nervousness or unsureness to creep in.
Now Brett was really modeling his game after the best. The Tom Bradys and the Patrick Mahomes of the NFL and the Jalen Hurts and the Tua Tagovailoas of the NCAA. He would study more than just their technical abilities, he would study their attitude on and off the field, the way they carried themselves around the team, and the respect their teammates had for them as their quarterbacks. Brett is determined to be the best, and he missed one crucial thing. Brett was missing the opportunity to create his own model of “self”. To connect with the power and greatness that was laying in-wait inside of him.
One day during coaching I asked Brett….”What does this particular elite player do in this situation?” He was right on it with a response.
I then asked him “What do you love about this elite player’s performance/attitude?” Again, he was right on it with his response.
Then I asked him, “what is creating these feelings and/or emotions of nervousness or trepidation or anxiety in the game sometimes?” He thought long……and after I waited a while and before I received an answer I asked him another question, “what would Brett do in those situations (removing the model of imitating what other elite players were doing)?” He froze. His eyes got big and after a few moments his head lowered and he said in defeat….I don’t know.
From that moment on Brett and I have coached around connecting with himself. Creating the outcomes he wants in any situation and the path he needs to take in order to get there. We have coached around replacing all those, “well he would do this” thoughts to, “I do this.” He is totally committed to creating his own choices and making them. He has come alive and begun to find his OWN voice out there. He has begun playing with confidence and flawlessness that he had never experienced before. He has awakened to becoming both on the field and in his school/community.
He shared with me recently during a coaching session that during his last game there were a few key plays and big moments while he was under center and that he never felt so calm before. He explained to me how he knew himself in those moments so well, that everything became so clear, the decision he needed to make, the velocity of throw, the impact it was going to have on his team, and the responsibility he was willing to take on. WOW…..I am getting goosebumps as I type this and relive that moment in my empowerment center. He found it!! He rediscovered his confidence.
See I believe that we don’t lose confidence and/or we don’t need to get more…..I believe that our confidence gets buried under all kinds of deflating self-talk. Our confidence gets pushed aside. We dismiss our confidence with thoughts of “I’m not good enough.” When we coach, we rediscover all that confidence, we uncover it. When that happens we rediscover that it is ourselves whom we want to grow and cultivate into individuals others can look up to and be lead by.
Brett still watches film of elite NCAA and NFL quarterbacks to see what new discoveries they are making that may help him in his game. However, he now has turned his focus to creating himself into the player he believes and knows he will become, rather than trying to be someone else.
I challenge you to look inside and see who are you creating by the choices you are making. Are you trying to be the next “elite or whomever” or are you going to be the elite YOU!
I am so grateful for all your trust and commitment! I cherish each moment with each of you!
P.S. This applies to all walks of life, whether in the boardroom, the classroom, or in the home. I passionately coach with individuals, leading them to thrive as they create their own elite voice!
If this speaks to anyone you think please pass on and share. We can all empower each other!