We may be home and away from our teams, and as hard as that is, are you thinking about yourself right now? Or are you being the typical coach who is all consumed and worried about how to best support your team without considering what to do for YOU? During quarantine, I know you are probably working hard to care for your team. Maybe you’re posting combos and workouts and hosting team dinners on zoom. So while you work so hard for your team, I’m here to take care of you.
This week I’ve put together a little roundup of resources available here on the blog that you can take advantage of while you’re at home…
Here are 5 ways you nurture your coaching skills in quarantine:
If it’s not something you’ve tried before, now is the best time to start. Take the time to ask yourself some important questions about why you started coaching in the first place. What matters to you? Why are you still here supporting your team in this crazy time? What do you want for your own growth this year? Or just keep it simple and write about how you feel today, your favorite travel destination that you’re missing right now, or why your puppy is your best friend.
Taking the time to write your thoughts and reflect on who you are, what’s important to you, your coaching philosophy, and your motivations will do wonders for your soul and help you hit the ground running when it’s time to get back in the studios and gyms.
If you want to encourage your dancers to journal too, here are some great journal prompts for your team. And if you want more about why journaling is so impactful on your mental state and your ability to achieve your goals read this.
Sure, planning for a season with so many unknowns may not seem like a good idea right now. And if you’re a person where long planning sessions bring you stress, skip this one. However, if you are a type-A planner who finds peace in backup plans to your backup plans, colored pens, sticky notes, and multiple calendars, take this time to make some big-picture considerations for your team next year. I’ve got a great planning workbook to help walk you through it and you can read more about it here or click the picture to download your copy.
Whether you like to read physical books or listen to audiobooks, one great thing you can do to improve your coaching skills in quarantine is to read. You can read about leadership and coaching, and even get out of the box a little, and read from non-dance coaches about team culture and grit. I love to read biographies of coaches I admire, or there’s great books on mental skills like visualization or goal setting. You could even focus on personal development and read about habits for success, courage and vulnerability, or finding your path in life.
If there is a book you’ve always wanted to read or an audiobook that’s been sitting on your list, quarantine is a great time to dive in and hone a new coaching skill, personal skill, or source of inspiration for the coming season.
If you have captains on your team you can also use this time to read with them. Share a booklet from Proactive Coaching or have them read a coach’s biography or leadership book so you can all talk about it together. It could be a great way to get to know your leadership even better, be productive with your time, and be the coach who pushes your dancers to be someone who strives for excellence.
Last year I shared this post with some of my favorite leadership books.
Along the same lines of reading with your captains, you can also invest this time in actually discussing what it means to be a good leader with your new captains. Take the time to train them to be the leaders you know they are capable of being. Choosing the right captains and having them attend a pre-season leadership workshop is the most effective way to establish dependable and positive leadership on your team. Even now while in quarantine, this is something you can do to get your team started off on the right foot.
For more help on how to choose the best captains and how to nurture their leadership potential, check out the Roadmap to Choosing the Right Captains.
Now this one may seem strange, and maybe you’re only used to visualizing your competition routine once it’s done and the team is getting ready for the warmup floor. But there is so much more to visualization. You can hone your skill as a coach and you can teach your dancers more about it while you’re having virtual meetings.
This article will walk you through why it’s so valuable and the basics of how to do it. Use your time now to talk to your dancers about it and have them practice visualization of skills. It trains the same part of your brain that you use when you actually perform a skill, so the practice will add up!
Take care of yourself so you can take care of your team
Being away from our team is so challenging and I know we wish we could just have our normal season kickoffs and summer plans, but right now that’s not possible. The good news is, you can control your attitude, your focus, your goals, and how you approach this time in quarantine. If you’re looking to nurture your coaching skills while at home, I hope you give some of these tools a try. You will never regret the time you spend working on yourself.