Updated: Apr 20, 2021
Have we beat the “authenticity in coaching” topic to death yet? I don’t think so. Because, inherent in authenticity, is individuality. And it is the individuality, the ability to offer something that no one else on this earth has, that lends power to authenticity. So, here is yet another take on the subject, from a perspective only I can offer.
A piece of the pie - not the whole thing.
We are not meant to have a profound impact on every single athlete we come across. We are meant to take part in the overall breadth of impact the individual will feel across their lifetime as an athlete. The impact that summates from every bit of influence imposed upon them and will create the person they become. Don’t overestimate your place in their journey. Don’t make yourself more important than you are. Don’t take credit for the parents who raised them, the bus driver that got them there, and the hero they aspired to be since they were a kid. We are doing ourselves & them a disservice. Let’s be real, we are doing everyone a disservice any time we are not being authentically us. When we overstep and overestimate our importance, when we are striving, we are not being authentic. But, when we allow our individual authenticity to shine through, we reach those who it resonates with on a deeper level, while gaining the respect & rapport of those that our particular brand of authenticity doesn’t resonate with, simply because they witness us being “us.” This opens up the athlete to feel, at a baseline level, that they can trust us to instruct them.
In coaching, we see a lot of ego, grandstanding, & name-dropping to demonstrate importance. I have been guilty of all of these on various occasions. Most of these, I would argue, stem from insecurity. Insecurity stems from trying to be something you are not, or trying to fit somewhere you don’t belong (or think you don’t belong). Realize that if you made it there, you likely belong there. Be humble, keep learning, and stay in your lane.