A mixed martial arts fight is decided before the octagon door closes. The fighter whose will to win is stronger will be the victor. Having a clear and focused mind is imperative in MMA, which is why many UFC fighters prepare with meditation.
Besides being a player, I’ve been involved in athlete development probably my whole life in a variety of different ways. First, it was as a coach. I was an assistant coach for my brother's peewee hockey team. I then by happenstance ended up creating development camps for a Tier II Jr. A hockey team (how can you ever forget the Victoria Salsa?). From there, I was given the opportunity to coach Division I hockey at Quinnipiac University, which was an awesome experience working with great people. I even had the chance to briefly scout professionally for the Vancouver Canucks, which was a fascinating experience and provided me with a different perspective even though I was about as far from making any decisions as you could possibly be.
Over my many years of working closely with Athletes, Executives and Business Owners, I have observed that everything ‘happens through a person’. Your network, or as we will now call it, social capital is the key to creating opportunity. Opportunity to engage in fulfilling activities and generating a sustainable income during, and well after your athletic career is over.
Over the course of my athlete transition practice, I have come across a number of athletes who are considering re-entering their sport in a coaching role. On the surface, this appears to be a great idea: to parlay a lifetime of experience and skills into a new career developing those skills in others. However, connecting those dots may not be a simple, easy, or natural as it appears. In the process of trying to develop good athletes, the development of good coaches may often get overlooked.
Stop. Look around you. How many people in your immediate vicinity are looking at some sort of screen? Most of them? All? Now think of the last time you went out to eat. When did it become normal to see people sitting on their phones at the table and not interacting with the person sitting to their side or across from them?