There was an important date marked on my calendar last week. It wasn’t an official national holiday like Halloween or Thanksgiving, and it wasn’t my mom’s birthday. This day is special for a completely different reason.
Sunday, October 6 was National Coaches Day. Now you may think, “What’s so important about that? I’m not in sports, I don’t have a coach.” Well, I can promise you, even if you don’t think that you have a coach, you definitely do.
A coach can rigidly be defined as “an instructor or trainer”. But to me, a coach can also be defined as something more. Coaches assist those to develop their full potential. They are responsible for training by analyzing performance, instructing in relevant skills and providing encouragement.
I’ve been coaching Girls on the Run for six seasons this year. Now six seasons might make me a “seasoned” coach to some, but it’s hard to feel that way. To me, being a “seasoned” coach doesn’t mean that I ever stop learning. I believe that an important quality of a good coach is that they continue to open themselves up to new ideas, with the intent of also learning from whom they are coaching. A good coach also stands up for both themselves and others, a core value that we teach in GOTR.
Take a second and think through those big moments in your life – maybe you graduated from high school, got married, or ran a half marathon. Who was by your side, coaching you through those life-changing moments? Maybe it was your parents, your husband, or your best friend – people you know very well. These are most likely the people you lean on in a consistent fashion throughout longer periods of time. All excellent coaches.
Now take a minute and think through some of the smaller moments in your life – that time you received a handwritten note from someone in the mail, or when you went out to lunch with an old coworker. It may not seem like it, but these moments have an impact as well. These smaller, more intimate moments also shape who you are, and there was a coach standing right by your side, if even for a short moment.
Moral of the story: write that date on your calendar. Take the time to say thank you to someone who has helped you get to where you are today. You may not consider them a “coach”, but if they’ve provided you encouragement in any way, they definitely are in my book. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back as well, because you are your own coach in many small ways!
Throughout this blog series, I will be highlighting one of Girls on the Run’s Core Values in each post – a little reminder that running encompasses so much more than simply lacing up your running shoes. Remember – run with your heart, not just your feet.
Follow along on my coaching journey!
Girls on the Run: @girlsontheruncentralia