I’ve been back down at OPEX HQ in Scottsdale this past week working on a project and had a GREAT convo with coach Robin Lyons about the beauty of coaching (thank you Robin… more good convo’s to come).
We often talk about the athlete and the flow state they get into during a peak performance. In this state, they have low perception and they simply execute. Low perception means that certain emotions are neutralized so that athletes aren’t lost in the “what if’s” or the “if onlys”.
What if I’m not fast enough?
What if I let my team down?
What if I miss a rep?
If only I had paced myself better.
If only I had trained harder.
If only I made that lift.
A big part of the flow state is to be present in the moment… nothing else exists, least of all distracting emotions that can throw you off your game. We’ve all seen it. Some of the greatest performances are executed when an athlete perceives they have nothing to lose. That alone neutralizes emotions around fear and attachments to outcome b/c they just go for broke. It’s a beautiful thing.
What’s interesting is that the same flow state exists in coaching and it’s one of my favorite parts of being a coach.
As a coach we live the ups and downs with our athletes. We lift the bar with them, we run the race, we feel their successes and their failures every step of the way. That is all part of the normal coaching process and so painfully joyous.
The thing that creates the flow space in coaching is our perception. Yes, we feel our clients success and failures, but the big question is do you attach yourself to them? If you do, you have high levels of perception and you will be attached to their outcome. This will pepper your coaching style in any given moment.
For example, if you fear a specific outcome, you will dispense advice to your client or athlete in a direction that tries to avoid your own fear. This may or may not be the best advice for your client in that moment because it’s for you and not for them.
However, if you have no attachments or perceptions (ie. You’ve neutralized your emotions) around their performance and you get really present, you’ll often find that the perfect words come through you as you coach, as was the case with Robin at the SW Regionals with Team OPEX.
That’s a flow state in coaching when the words come through you not from you.
Whether it’s at a Regionals competition, working with an average client looking to get healthy, a nutritional consult or writing a program for someone, how you approach it with your own perception and attachments (or lack thereof) will create the experience for both you and your client.