Balancing Life and Coaching by George Kennedy (2007)


Published


We will start the talk on Balancing Life and Coaching. What I am going to do is give you a handout – I have three handouts. I want to give you two of them today to start out with. Last year we did a talk on a Sunday morning and we had 8 people come so I feel good that today there are maybe three times that number. I made 30-some copies of each. The first is the Olympic rings, it is Olympic year and I will have a trivia question right after this and the second is and perhaps you can get a lot more out of this sheet right here. Hopefully you will get a lot out of the top, but this is a list of resources that I draw upon to help me in this area.

When you try to start a talk out this way, once in a while and that is I give folks a trivia contest from time to time and then reinforce the answer with a candy bar. So I was doing a little bit of research on balance and the first thing is my wife just laughed at me when I told her I was going to give a talk on balance. It was about 15 years ago and she approached me one night and basically said, you know I should have married a surgeon and I said well, why is that? And she said well, you work the same number of hours, but get paid about 20 times less. My thoughts, you know I wasn’t real smart back then. Hopefully I am smarter and learned a few things and I said you know, I really don’t think they work as many hours as we do, and boy, I just about got shot so I don’t feel as bad now. I did some research and here is the trivia question. From whose diary did this come from? “Last night was the first time in twenty years that I ate dinner alone with my wife”? I am talking about balance. Do you want to think about it? Okay, end of talk for a candy. Phil? Yes, I am sorry and your name? I do have a candy bar. Times have changed since then hopefully.

I wanted to go ahead and start the talk just by letting you know that no one, absolutely no one should stand up here and preach to you about how to balance your life. Balance is a very individual thing. I try to look at it in a little bit different way and if you look at your Olympic rings, I try to look at it as what areas of my life am I trying to connect. Does anybody? Second round of trivia contest. Bob Pearson, you know this, what do the five Olympic rings stand for? From the audience someone says continents. What about the continents? Response from the audience, there are 5. Yep, there are five. You win, there you go.

Three goals for today’s talk and the first is that we turn this into a discussion, that it is not going to be a lecture, and please promise me that in the last 15 minutes of this talk that we are talking about different ways or different things that might help us; I wouldn’t say gain balance, but gain perspective in our lives, set priorities. The second thing would be that I have a goal with this talk; the title of the talk, “Balancing Life and Family.” We need to come up with a new title by the end of the talk. I want a new title out of this talk because I am not sure if balance is the correct term. Maybe the act of trying to become more balanced? I don’t think that balance is a noun or is something that we can arrive at as a coach. How many of you have seen the movie, I guess it is either The Pursuit or In Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith? Has anybody seen that? I think one of the classic lines of that is “It is in the pursuit of happiness”. I mean I try to wake up every morning happy, but we are constantly trying to pursue that. I think that is something similar here; that we are trying to pursue balance. I wish that I had brought my glasses at this point.

Now we are going to get anyone, well, I’ll tell you what, let’s have the whole group just stand up. Balance yourselves on both feet, balance on both feet and just feel real good and balanced, good posture. Now go ahead and do a quad stretch if you have room. Do a quad stretch, just pull one leg up. okay? One leg, you can’t do both at the same time. Some people are already moving around, okay, that is a good thing. Okay? Now go ahead and close your eyes. Alright, we are moving a few more people around. Okay and I think that the point is this: that balance is very individual. Balance is very temporary. I don’t think it is a static point and as we add tasks or we add areas of our life, it gets a little bit tougher. I think the ability to juggle three to four high priority projects or areas of your life is part of every leader’s life so we need to try to find a way to do that. If you look at your handout with your resources and this is kind of going backwards. Most folks just talk about their resources last, but I would like to go ahead and present this in a way that I I have been coaching for 28 years and I think each year has gotten better and I don’t just mean the times that our athletes do, but I think the connectedness of my Olympic rings, so to speak, and I try to change that pattern each year, but there are usually four or five things and at least three things, no more than six major areas in our lives that we need to connect. The first book on the list there, I believe it is by Alan Lake and how to get control of your time and life. It was a book that I first heard about when I was a young coach. Alright, I still try to say I am young, but I am over the 50 marker now and I do not tell recruits any more that I am old, but I am wise, okay? And have we gotten wiser? I hope so. That book made an impact on my life because it was shortly after my wife told me I had to get my act together that I read that book and it was a way to prioritize, okay? I think we each have to have an anchor in our lives. I would say that the connectedness of my Olympic rings and I don’t want to sit up here and preach because it is the last thing that you all want to hear, but I think if we approach it a little bit differently, that balance starts with me; I would like to approach it from the aspect that balance is all about the people whose lives we touch or the ability to help other people and if we look at it that way, if we look at whose lives we are helping I think we can have a continual improvement in trying to connect our rings.

So, what we are going to do now is go ahead and let each of you who has a pen and who has a set of Olympic rings. I want you to fill in the five major areas of your life if you will. It is more about what you are about. What you would like to connect right now so that you wake up every morning happy and you go to bed each night with a smile on your face. Are there any more copies? Okay, the copy is up front and if we run out of copies what you will need to do is draw circles on a piece of paper and connect them. I think the power of the rings again is that they are connected. I am supposed to keep talking because I guess I am on the mike, but right now has everybody filled out their rings? Okay, and there is probably an area we all want to change there. Can I just have some examples and I will just repeat them into the mike of different parts of your Olympic ring. Do you want to start with all five of yours? Because the importance is the connectedness. From the floor, coaching, education, family, goals, and your future. Great. Anybody else? Go ahead. Okay, so I have got coaching, family, academia, wife duties and your time. Okay. And I think each person has their own group or grouping of rings and what I would like to do is just cover, you know again, this is just that everybody is wired differently and that is why I don’t necessarily talk about balance. I almost want to talk about how do you make this work? How do you coach, how do you make all this happen for you? How do you get better? Family, friends, for me, faith, work and profession and then a wellness learning and I am really into sports. I would like for each of us to take a look at our work area. Did everybody here put work? I hope, because it is balancing coaching, which is our work so I hope that you put that down as one of our rings. Can you write down within that area the things that you do, alright? and I do not think that you can fit it all in there, but there just might be some categories like I can give you an example like in relationships with athletes, with alumni, deck coaching. You know. You can go on and just fill in a few items within that ring. Okay and I want you to come back to that and now I want to go ahead and give you some strategies that have helped me through the years, I think. I have been married for 27 years. I have been coaching – I have been coaching, as a head coach for 28 years and I have through the years quite a few friends or so-called friends. I do not want to touch the faith thing because I know it is sensitive to some people, but it is important to me and then I love to exercise in any way, but here is some advice I would give folks just based on what I have seen and I would say that when I was a young coach and don’t take this the wrong way if you are younger than I am. That when I was coaching I really didn’t know what I didn’t know back then and so one of the real advantages of that is it created, you know, there is a lot of confidence. I just walked onto a pool deck and I thought I was it, but when our first taper went south – it really kind of hurt my self-image and I think when we connect, when we make the connection, the key to all of this is self image and I will get into that in a second. Here is some strategy that I would give you. We all know when we coach we all know the hours when our practice times are. During the season on my monthly planner I schedule all of the non-work commitments outside of that practice time first. And you are going to say whoa, how are you going to do that and get paid? And then schedule the work commitments; when you meet with a recruit, if it is at night, etc. So an example may be or examples may be from 12-1:30 on my schedule or on your schedule every day is devoted to reading, exercise, leisure, whatever is on your non-work items. Is everybody with me so far? Now, how many of you have had athletes or have been in a situation before where the busier you are, the more organized you feel? Such as the athletes during the “in-season” instead of out of season. So now we will switch to the out-of-season because the same wife indicated to me that the worst time for her since I tried to get this connectedness going, the worst time for her was the week right after NCAA’s because I didn’t know what to do with myself, okay? So, what do we do or how do we become organized out-of-season? And that is now to schedule your work related meetings, etc. out-of-season first because they are fewer and then you can do a whole lot more. Everybody with me so far? With the areas that you want to get away from, but you still may have a staff meeting; make sure that that’s on your calendar. I was tending to forget a lot of things because I didn’t write down the work-related activities during the off-season. So I call this the in-season out of balance, or the out of season hopefully beginning to get more organized.

Now I want anyone to go ahead and kind of add to our discussion and please let me know anything that you do for yourself and I want to learn as much as you. Anything that you learn that has helped you during in-season, when you feel out of balance. We are all out of balance whenever the connectedness isn’t working. You are not spending enough time at home or you are not spending enough time with friends. Is there anything that you do during that time that helps you? That is great and that is a form of communication. I have to repeat it here because we are taping this. A calendar where both you and your spouse or fiancé have a calendar where you have written down your commitment. Any other ideas? Yeah, that is great and the ability to say no. You really need to be able to step up and say no too. An example, we did the same thing and on Friday nights we don’t go out. We just don’t go out. Okay? That sounds really boring, but we go out on Saturday night and so I think a lot of what I am getting at, you have to make it work for you. The connectedness is the key and you have to make it work for you. Okay? That is great and if you didn’t hear that; she is in a softball league with her husband. Connects with friends in the softball league, gets her exercise, gets her time together with friends and goes out together on Friday night. That is a great way to take care of a couple of different areas.

Okay, the next comment or statement is for I think many of you who are in college coaching or who strive to be in college coaching. I think is a very important point on the connectedness or the diversity of our lives and this is what I have found from the students at Johns Hopkins University. There is such a great diversity among our student population that everybody respects each other for who they are. Alright? you don’t have to wear khakis and a green shirt or a pink shirt. You don’t have to talk a certain way and what this really encourages and fosters is self-image. And so I would say this, that the diversity in your lives or at least I have found this in the diversity in my life has helped me with my self-image and a lot of you guys are kind of looking up here and are like who is this guy you know he is a little different. I don’t care. You know, I think the important thing is you remain when you diversify your life you can walk into a room with confidence. That is what I get from our students at Hopkins and here is a quote. Do you want to come up and read this. I forgot my glasses. Are you okay? Can someone, I am sorry about that. This is a quote from Amanda Beard and Amanda Beard is a swimmer as you remember in the 1996 Olympic Games as a young 14 year old won gold and then had the intense ambition to try and keep that going shortly thereafter. And if you can go ahead and read this paragraph and this paragraph. “Amanda Beard had swings in balance, much as Spitz did. After she won three medals at the 1996 Olympics at the age of 14, she spent the next year trying to show she wasn’t a flash in the pan. Every race was a test to prove that she hadn’t lost her Olympic speed. This self-imposed pressure was enormous and she had nothing to divert it. Swimming was on her mind constantly. A bad performance put her into a mental and emotional tailspin. It got to the point where she dreaded going into workouts. Relief didn’t come until a couple of years later when she went away to college at the University of Arizona. There was no infamy, no bolt of lightning, but rather a gradual realization that, as she says, you can stick with swimming for any amount of time unless you have other things going on in your life.” That is kind of what I carry over or try to carry over to coaching.

Okay, I think we have to have other things going on in our life and I would say this for those of you who are Division III coaches. We need to be intense about improvement and I would say our Olympic rings in coaching are more about performance improvement than they are necessarily about kids in our team winning gold medals at the Olympics. Okay, um, but, but what I really truly feel that the key in this particular area is being diversified and enjoying things outside of the pool. I find and just through my experience and I have talked to other coaches on this that when you have other things going on in your life it is kind of like a quality practice versus a quantity practice. You know you have x-number of hours to coach that athlete well. You put your energy into that when there are other things. If you are thinking about it too much then it might be okay to do something half-way over here or something half-way over there. Again I think when we are structured, when there are other things in our life, it is not different than the student who is in class and must swim and I wouldn’t say balance, but I would say connect their Olympic rings. Okay. Any questions so far?

The next thing that I would go ahead and say is that the quality of relationships in helping others is the key to making continual improvement in coaching, in life aspects, and in family relationships. Okay, relationships last; times are temporary. For me running is temporary and I am finding that right now. I had knee surgery last November and I still can’t run, but the guys I ran with and we have a running group at 6:30 in the morning, it was about our relationships. We would run, those guys would run a lot faster than me. They would run a 7 ½ minute mile pace and they would go about 6 ½ miles and I would run a 10 minute mile pace and meet them back at a bagel shop afterwards and we would solve the problems of life at that point, but the relationships is what kept that group together, okay? So quality relationships last.

At a graduation talk at Johns Hopkins, the Baltimore Ravens coach, Brian Billeck, and you have got to understand that at Johns Hopkins we are not always going to get a pro-football coach as our graduation speaker, in fact the students were up in arms because they wanted an academic guy. Basically, he spoke to the graduating class that the most important characteristic or the most important quality that CEO’s and companies are looking at right now is the ability to work effectively with people. All CEO’s at the top 10 corporations mentioned that as the most important characteristic and then proceeded to say this, and it was pretty funny that Brian Billeck, who is the coach, works for a general manager who went to Princeton and got straight A’s and the general manager works for an owner who went to Salisbury State, which is not as much of an academic school as Princeton and got C+’s. Alright. It is more about who you are than what you’ve done. It is more about the relationships you develop, alright, than what you know many times.

If we are talking about balancing life and coaching I hope you don’t mind if I talk a little bit about, I just call it, I married up. My wife is a great person. I really married up. She can walk into a room or I will walk into a party rather, I will go to a party and I will walk into a room and basically everybody asks me, where is Helen? Well, I am here, NO, where is Helen? They are more concerned and I started thinking about why they are asking for my wife? And she is really, she has been a manager of a company. She is a physical therapist. She does things for other people and here is why I think they are asking for her when she walks into the room. It is very simple. She makes them feel important. I had the same comment from three swimmers. We were driving a van when we could drive vans to a training trip and they say the same thing. They say, coach, I really love your wife and I am like what about me? I say, why is that? She asks me more questions about my life than you ever have, coach, but no, but you know how do you make people, how do you connect with people? You make them feel important. Right, so, back to I think a really important question we have to ask. If any of you are married or have families, in balancing or trying to connect our Olympic rings the best we can, the question we need to ask our family or our wife or a significant other. What are your needs this week? If you are having difficulties in, you know, what I was early in my career, you ask what their needs are first. You ask the important people in your life how you can help them. Okay, Martin Luther King and Albert Einstein are famous because basically they decided that they just wanted to help other people. I mean you cut through everything they did, but every book that I have read on this says they were here to help other people, okay? So, if you look at balance or the connectedness and are in it to understand what you can do for someone else, you will constantly improve and they will get a whole lot out of it and I am ready to move on. Are there any questions so far?

Okay, one of the things that I enjoy doing is delegating. I have great assistant coaches at Johns Hopkins and I have daughters who are old enough to mow the lawn. I have, you know, and again, I don’t want this to be preaching, but I think delegation; a man named William Gladstone wrote this in terms of, this is what I got, in terms of delegation. “there is a limit to the work that can be brought out of a human body or brain and he or she is the wise person who wastes no time in pursuits for which they are not fitted, rather he or she chooses from among the things they can do well”; and that is not to say that if you don’t feel like you do something well not try to improve it, but if there are so many hours in the day. I can’t run a marathon right now It would be stupid for me to try to run again if you can get my point. Okay, do the things that you can do well. If you will, set the A’s, the B’s, the C’s in delegation. First of all we joke at Johns Hopkins because it is very much a science-oriented school and joke with all of our assistant coaches the first thing I say to them is I am not just going to assign you cleaning test tubes, okay? That is kind of supposed to be funny, but you need, when you assign or when you delegate; you need to consider the goals of the people who you are delegating to and not just your own goals. For years I had an assistant who wanted to be a head coach in a Division III setting. He has accomplished that goal. He is perhaps the best deck coach I’ve seen and I let him run. We let him run with it. Currently, our new assistant coach is the most organized person I have ever seen and boy, am I letting her run with that. Okay? She is trying to help me out in those areas, but you delegate, alright, to what? You know, to their needs or to their goals. It is a way to improve communication, okay? If the athletes see that you are trusting your coaches then it is easier for the athletes to trust you. Okay, does everybody understand that? The art of delegation isn’t just giving the crap work to somebody and say go, although some people are great that way. We have a manager in our program right now who emails me and it’s what can I do next? Alright, it helps me. It comes back to help me. She is kind of delegating back to me. What she needs to be delegated to. And if I could give you any bit of advice from a work perspective is to see if you can get a full-time assistant and see if you can get managers who do things. This has really been helpful. Like I said before, it motivates, it motivates and when your assistant coaches are motivated the team benefits. Again, it comes back to who we are helping. Not just helping yourself. You are helping the team members. When our team goes to a first away meet and our sweats that were ordered have come in and we arrive to the away meet in team sweats, it is a whole lot better than one year when I delegated and the responsibility did not get done and we did not have any sweat bottoms. So you need to know who you are delegating to. And I think it is a day-by-day improvement. There is another eye and there is another voice in the decision making process, okay?

And now we will talk a little bit about, just a little bit more about, delegation, but there are high urgency and high importance issues that you need to delegate and you need to find the right person for that. You know, you need to tackle those projects first. I will repeat that again; that they are high importance and high urgency. The high importance and low urgency, you would be wise to set deadlines for those. Get to work on them on your daily routine if you can. Low importance and high urgency. Find quick efficient ways to get these things done. This can be to delegate work to what we would call a “can do” assistant. Low importance, low urgency, usually we get rid of that, but it could be what our manager likes to do. Okay. Determine or set the goals that you have in delegation around how important and how urgent they are. And here are some examples. In the work profession category I look at that as coaching each athlete with a goal of academic excellence, improvement, fun, personal development and create a sense of team, but there are also alumni and parent relations. There are staff relationships among the different coaches in your department. There is recruiting and then there is more recruiting and even more recruiting and there is professional development.

What I would like for you to do on the back of your sheet. on the back of your Olympic rings again, is to write down what you think are the five major areas, or maybe you filled it in the ring, the areas that you have obligations or that you feel are the major part of your work responsibilities and is there anything in each of those areas that you could delegate? And again, I am on mike so if you write those major areas down, if you want to get something out of that, you can go to that later. I think when we connect our Olympic rings, for those of you who came in late, we are not really looking at just balance, but it is the connectedness of the things that we do in our lives that make us who we are as a coach, as a person as a father, etc.

I think when we look at the connectedness we have to look to some mentors, some people who you might be able to look at that person and say, man, that person seems to have their life in order that way. Ask them questions. Ask your mentors questions. I look at some of the things and most of you know that I am a big North Carolina basketball fan so anything Dean Smith has written, he is a coach, he was a great coach, he is the leading coach in terms of wins in the NCAA history and Dean had the most wins, but everything that I have read about him and what the players say about him is that the most important thing to him was how his athletes were doing. John Wooden, a book that I recommended on the resource list, John, I would also recommend a book by John Wooden that is called “The Pyramid of Success.” The thing that stuck with me about John Wooden is that he won I believe 7 NCAA titles in a row and maybe 11 overall and he didn’t have to be a “hard ass” to do it. In his book he basically said that the reason why, to cut it short, the reason why he won these championships is because he looks for character in his athletes and the way other people looked at John Wooden is that he was gentle in his approach. What I am saying is that there are a lot of different ways to get it done. You need to make sure that you know what makes you tick. And then there is Mike Krzyzewski from the Duke Blue Devils and having gone to Carolina we are not too fond of the Duke Blue Devils, but boy, what a great coach and he wrote a book that is listed on your resource list and it is entitled, “Leading with the Heart” and when things come from the heart, well, you understand.

A question that I have for everyone here is do your family and life goals align? I think that is one of the major, and I am going to be finished up here in a second so we can redefine the name of this talk. I have a couple of more handouts that I think are really important. In terms of delegation, I am just going through some things that may help also. We meet with our assistant coaches every Monday to set up the week; for two hours. There is good communication that takes place and she knows what she is going to do for the first time, believe it or not and this isn’t excellence in coaching, but the first time in two years we are going to have our athletes videotaped. We meet every Friday on how the week went and on recruiting issues. There is so much to be covered here that I think that there are some other schools that you can learn other things, in terms of organization, but something that has stuck at me is that the ASCA magazine just recently put out was a talk by Don Gambril from 1991 and Don was the honored coach last night. One of the honored coaches and I think Tim Welsh who is in this room might have been someone who interviewed him or introduced him for that talk, but the characteristics that Don stated that all the great coaches from Kiphuth to Counsilman to the coaches that we have heard, probably the mentors for folks who are old enough to be my age and then the Eddie Reeses, etc., the key is organization so I think that is a whole different topic in itself. Proper planning and organization are really key in getting the connectedness of your rings.

I would like to read you something now and I coach a lot from the heart. I coach a lot from trying to continually improve areas in my life every day, but again there is so much more to get done, but this struck me. That there is a great book, called “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and in the book. it is really a simple read, there is so much Vern Gambetta gave us, five major topic areas out of that book yesterday, but I got this and this is called “The Stockdale Paradox”: retain faith that you will prevail in the end, that if you are trying to accomplish something you will prevail in the end. If you set your sights in the long or major goal that it will get done, but at the same time, confront the most brutal facts of your current reality whatever they may be and again, that is called the Stockdale Paradox. I really like that because it is a story that brings, that ties it together. Admiral Stockdale was a, well he was a pilot in Viet Nam and he got shot down and he spent 8 years in the Hanoi Hilton. And I found this really interesting, and it was amazing that he got out. He was beaten over 20 times, etc., and when asked who didn’t get out? Was there a general trend as to you know the POW’s that just didn’t get out of that situation and he said, “Yes, the optimists.” And it just struck a chord and I was like, why was that? And basically what he went on to say was that the optimists were told that they were going to get out by Thanksgiving and that didn’t happen and then the optimists were told that they were going to get out by, you know, some other holiday and that didn’t happen and then the next Thanksgiving and they lost their heart and so I think the second part of the Stockdale Paradox was really important and I will repeat that again. Confront the most brutal facts of your current reality whatever they may be. Everybody has their story and everybody has their most brutal current reality. You can either be a victim or a victor. And if you waste too much time being the victim you will continually walk backwards and if you look at it from being the victor, you can continue to walk forward.

Have any of you read Rick Reilly, from Sports Illustrated; the life of Riley? Did any of you get the issue where he spoke about Tony Dungy? I don’t think I have handed that out yet, but I will hand that out and I would like for you to read that and there are certain things in our lives that just hit us square in the middle of the forehead and basically this is something that hit me in the middle of the forehead and said, “That is what it is all about.” That’s someone who I would like to meet; that is someone who I would like to act like and now we have gotten away a little bit from balancing, if there is balance, life and coaching, but I think it comes back to Tony Dungy who is a man who is in this world to help other people. And so I will hand that out.

You have to read this quickly so we can rename this talk. Anybody else? I don’t want to interrupt, but you know you can keep reading as I talk. That is not being rude this time you know. Go ahead and keep reading if you would like to. As you look at that and anyone that just wants to file that for now or keep it for later. Is there anyone who would like to rename this talk? Yes, come on up.

First of all, my name is Roxanne so I believe that you should rename it to connecting life and coaching because you are using the Olympic rings and he is giving us an example of how we should connect our lives. I always thought that I should always keep my work, my life, everything in a separate bubble and not to connect them all because I will make a big mess, but how he explains it, it gave me a different view on life. Not only do I want to connect everything together, I want to make sure I am doing my best at everything and you kept talking about connecting this and trying to really focus on it and it is not balancing everything, it is connecting it. If you want to do something good you need to connect it like those are great examples. I just, I really think it is really good. I like it.

So, it is connecting life and coaching. Anybody else? Yeah, come on up.
My name is Peter Chan and I am from England. I don’t know whether you were with the John Leonard’s Stroke School. I always hide behind the fact that I look younger than I really am. I am 67 years old so I have seen a bit of life. This talk really is about finding the meaning of life isn’t it? You can talk till the cows come home and you will never find the answer. Changes like Buddha and all the great changes have been searching for the meaning of life since dawn of civilization and here we are still grasping at the straws to find what life is all about. I think each one has to find his own way of sorting out these priorities. In fact, in this environment where we are trying to coach and coach excellence, trying to win Olympic golds actually destroys the soul more than builds the soul because you are aiming at such high principles; such high ideals and if you fall, if you try to reach high you will fall very sharply. You will get a severe jolt and that will destroy your life. I am sure a lot of you know that is so really. Sometimes I ask myself, should you be aiming that high? Because if you don’t reach it you will get a very, very severe shock so what do you do in life? You know, take it easy and live life easy? I think they teach a subject now don’t they in universities on how to be happy, rather than how to be successful and rich. That is another aspect of life. So these are just thoughts that keep coming through me, you know? As I have gotten older, I don’t like to boast, if you look at Google under my name there are a hundred pages about it. I am in a completely different field so I have achieved what I needed to achieve. it is Bonzai, by the way. So swimming is only fun. So you have got to balance it in that way, you know? Just let it flower don’t fight too hard. I am still, at this old age, trying to do butterfly. I just cannot get the hang of it. My coach says I can’t get my hands out of the water, but yesterday a guy from Puerto Rico, I think, he told me just don’t fight, just let it go easily; it will come. So it is exactly the same in life I am sure. If you don’t try that hard it comes. What are the greatest athletes? You know, they are relaxed because they are not really trying that hard, so these are just thoughts, so as you said, sir, life is a continual experience. You know the balance comes sometimes and you lose your balance sometimes so you have just got to go with it and enjoy it. More than anything else. I thing that is my contribution.

Anybody want to follow that one up? Yeah; come on up John.

I think the title might be best, How to Manage an Unbalanced Life in Coaching. Just because priorities seem to change throughout the year and even if Friday night is your date night, but then one of your athletes is in the hospital; well, date night is off, or is it not? I mean, where do you put that priority in that situation? I think that it is a constant learning curve and it is great to have people that have been around longer to kind of give their advice on how they have dealt with things, but it is interesting that it really is a struggle, constantly re-evaluating on a day to day, week to week where are my priorities you know? How do I deal with this situation compared to that one and I think it is great to give good advice, but I think that each person must find their own path. I think is important and I think it is important to also make sure that you know you are happy with the success that you get. I think it can be limiting in trying to be the best father and I mean, my constant battle, unfortunately, is that I think trying to get past who did I let down today. I had a really great day on the pool deck but I didn’t see my oldest daughter because she went to bed early, you know? And back and forth and I think that trying to find the answers to that is really important because I think it is always unbalanced and it always changes and it is always fluid and you want to have constants in coaching, but it doesn’t seem like there are many constants that come up.

Thanks John. Anyone else? Come on up Steve.

Yeah, I was thinking of a title; maybe something like vocation, how do we connect the rings? Because for all of us, you know there are different things close to our heart, you know. There is faith, family, you know we have all got different things that are important to us and they all connect differently. I mean none of us is just a swim coach. You know, none of us is just a father or a mother. There are so many roles we play in a day and for me that all kind of comes under the title of vocation. It is more a whole person, so I thought that might be the title.

We are ready to wrap up. If any of you have any questions on the major themes of each of those books, I have read them and I can give you a good idea on what, you know, on what maybe some your interests are and what might be a good book out of that list so is there anyone who is struggling, how would you describe that struggle is kind of a parental coaching. What comes first? Yeah. If anybody in the room knows of books other than these on the resource list that would be helpful in that area. I totally agree. You know we can talk about how we are going to schedule out our week and I think proper planning is very important, but then what happens when this occurs? One book that’s on there that is pretty interesting is titled, “The DNA of Relationships” and I would recommend that one, John. Helpful in that particular area. Anything else? Yes.

I’m not a coach, I’m the spouse of a coach. Please talk to your spouse about something other than swimming, even it is 5 minutes a day.

From a spouse of a coach, please talk to your wife about something other than swimming, even if it’s five minutes a day. Yes.

Anybody have any advice? Okay, it is a nice day outside. I want to thank you all. Hopefully you got one thing from this and thanks for renaming the title of the talk. Thank you.

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