Working Alone: Ego Satisfaction
When I am working on a puzzle or solving a problem, I like to own it. When a problem seems really tough, that’s when I like to bear down with a lot of determination, and then I get a lot of satisfaction when I solve it myself. Then someone comes and looks over my shoulder alerting me a piece that fits with another piece, and I am having mixed emotions. I did not fix that one myself, and now I have to say thank you. They made it easier, but I may have wanted the additional challenge. In a similar way coaching and mentoring can have the same mental and emotional impacts.
Some coaches don’t seek direct mentoring for the same reason that I don’t really want help with the puzzle. It’s THEIR puzzle. Which reminds me of a book review for one of my books that is borne from 28 years of coaching experience. “There isn’t anything in it you couldn’t learn yourself.” Hey wow, that’s amazing, and my easy retort is “Yes, in 28 years, and I am trying to save you some pain.” I find that amusing, now.
Getting Help in Private
In the stages of getting help, there is the privacy of reading a book at home, or watching some videos online. There is minimal interaction most of the time, so the puzzle is really still owned by the coach. However, those presenters do not know which pieces might fit, and you find more of the 30 piece puzzle set coming from the very general coaching education found in the books and videos. That would include The Art of Coaching High School Tennis. It’s general, but the aim of the book is to create a template that a coach can then use to formulate their own program.
Getting Help in Public
The next higher stage of specificity is a workshop, or a specialized online course, that may meet a certain need. However if the coach is working on a 1,000 piece puzzle in his program and needs some specific ideas, and the presenters are giving out pieces from their 500 piece puzzle, then the fit will be curious, although the two could switch puzzles. This would be like the video series on Getting Your Players to the Net, or Discovering the Ideal Two-Hand Backhand Style. It’s more specific but the coach still has the work of honing the pieces to some degree.
Getting Help Personally in Private
Finally, when a mentor comes along and helps a coach to take a close look at the state of how the pieces of the puzzle are coming along, then a lot of time can be saved, with a very targeted approach that can be customized to the program.
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