Are you focused on your personal growth, Coach? Sure, most of us focus on our team’s goals and what we want for the program. But what about YOU as a coach?
Over the last few years I’ve talked about a lot of different ways you can invest in yourself and focus on your own growth so let this serve as a roundup of sorts to give you all of the ideas in one place. Don’t feel like you have to try ALL the things! Let this serve as a brainstorming place and see what inspires you. Then pick the #1 source of personal growth that resonates for you, and go for it!
Why invest in personal growth?
Coaches who are invested in themselves as much as their dancers are the ones who will survive the long haul. And one of my personal core values is the never-ending quest to keep learning. So that’s the type of person I want in my village, and that’s the type of coach who tends to find my little corner of the internet 🙂
If you’re the coach that’s committed to your own growth and you’re ready for some more ideas for personal growth…
Here are your 5 simple ingredients for continued growth:
1. Use goal setting strategies for yourself, not just your team
Set clear goals and expectations for yourself. You are all familiar with goal setting and may even do it with your team. You might even set practice goals and competition goals to help improve motivation and focus during the year. But do you ever set personal growth goals that are focused on you as the coach? Don’t put all the focus on the team’s goals the season, it’s not just about dance team goals. Set clear goals for your own growth, track those goals, reflect on your progress monthly, or at least quarterly, and be intentional about your plan for continued growth. Here are some other articles that might help if you want to focus on this are of growth:
2. Choose your intention for the year
When you choose your intention, you have a singular focus and that’s when you start to see BIG results. A few years ago I started coming up with a singular professional intention for the year. One word that would keep me focused, drive my decisions, and guide my areas of personal growth. We can’t just try to “be a better coach” or we will get nowhere. You wouldn’t ask your dancers to get better at every possible jump out there when you’re only competing a few. Sure, you train for overall strength and flexibility, but then you narrow your focus to a few skills you intend to showcase.
Your own quest for growth is the same. Choose an intention for the year and put any and all time you can spare for personal growth into that one area. Want to be more organized? Focus there. Or create better daily habits to reduce overwhelm? Or maybe you want to learn about communication styles. Choose one area of intention to focus your efforts so that even if you have very little time to devote to personal growth this season, whatever time you do spend will all add up towards one big area of improvement. For more on this concept, check out how you can Focus on 1% growth in you as a coach, as well as your dancers.
3. Find a mentor because it takes a village
This is a common theme that I will continue to shout from the rooftops. Don’t go it alone! Find a mentor in your area, or join communities with resources like professional conferences, workshops, and even the private membership for this village of Passionate Coaches: Relevé. Especially now, there are more virtual workshops, cheaper ways to attend conferences remotely, or you can get on a Zoom call with coaches in your area for support and ideas. Find your village! This may take some legwork on your part, your village won’t come to you. But I have learned more from fellow coaches and communities I belong to than just about any other source of personal development. For more on mentorship check out How I Found Out Mentoring is the Best Medicine or reach out to the National Dance Coaches Association who has an official mentorship program.
4. Find new sources of inspiration
Read (or listen to audiobooks and podcasts) from leaders both inside and outside of the dance industry. There are some amazing leaders in our dance industry who offer podcasts and YouTube shows, Instagram inspiration, and loads of great content. Don’t stop consuming that content, but if you really want to push your personal growth, read from leaders outside of our industry. I have a roundup of some of my favorite leadership books, but there’s always more. Find one that aligns with your intention from #3 and dive in! (leadership books to read)
5. Take care of yourself.
You can only grow so much so fast, and part of that path to a better coach is taking the time to properly take care of yourself. This is also a point of passion for me so I’ve written about it a lot before. Check these other articles about
- Coach from a place of harmonious passion (not obsessive passion!)
- Why the work-life balance is a myth
- What to do when you’re scared to take a risk
- The struggle of a perfectionist coach
Here’s the bottom line: Never stop learning!
We all have a lot to learn. Always! It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been coaching, how many titles, or the degree behind your name. If you’re not the coachable person you want your athletes to be, there won’t be any growth.