How Coachable Are You?
The Mental Game of Self-Coaching
Bill Cole, MS, MA
How well do you learn from your own experience? How coachable
do you think you are? Do you actively use one of the most
powerful tools in the peak performers armamentarium, self-coaching?
Peak performers seek assistance from coaches, teachers, confidants,
gurus, mentors, peers, books, high-tech and all other manner
of information and feedback. But all the information in the
universe won't help if it is not translated into useable form.
This is where self-coaching takes center stage. Self-coaching
is the ability to learn about yourself and to take that information
and make meaningful, positive changes.
No one can teach you anything. Ultimately, only you can take
information from the teacher or coach and transform it into
your personal use. Peak performers take responsibility for
their own learning and devise strategies that provide them
with quality feedback and with systems that put that information
through the change process into action.
Here are ten mental game success strategies that peak performers
use in self-coaching.
1. Have a Willingness to Grow as a Person.
If you are reading this article about self-coaching it means
you want to mature and grow as a human being. This desire
is manifested by your seeking experiences that help you improve
personally, as well as professionally. The self-learner realizes
that to grow professionally, personal growth is a must.
2. Have a Beginner's Mind.
The Zen tradition says that to learn, we must be an empty
vessel. If we know it all, we can't be very open to new knowledge
and experiences. The self-learner realizes that an open, seeking
attitude of experimentation and suspension of judgment allows
new perceptions to form.
3. Be Unafraid to Lose Face During the Change Process.
Fear locks many people up and stops them from changing.
Taking ourselves too seriously, having to maintain a certain
facade, and playing rigid roles all stop us from being able
to loosen up and go with the ups and downs of change. The
self-learner is secure about the process of learning and change.
4. View Learning as Mistake Laboratories.
The best learners have fun as they make mistakes. The slowest
learners tie themselves up with every mistake. When we view
any mistake as a failure, our negative emotions mask the valuable
feedback available around every mistake. The self-learner
welcomes all feedback around mistakes and uses them to advantage.
5. Use Creative Exploration.
Peak performers are creative and playful in extracting learning
from every experience. They take a fun approach to the change
process and realize that creativity increases options for
them. The self-learner knows that creativity is a major portal
to testing new personal realities.
6. Develop High Self-Awareness.
Self-awareness is not about what should be; it is about
what is. Self-coaching is about noticing and observing yourself
and about using feedback from any sources to heighten that
sense of yourself. The self-learner places a high priority
on becoming self-aware and realizes that self-knowledge can
be about the past or the present. Self-awareness is the master
7. Deconstruct Your Personal Experience.
Peak performers use self-reflection to analyze their experience.
They know that the unexamined life fleets by out of control.
Only by reviewing personal experience do we gain some degree
of awareness over what we have done and over who we are. The
self-learner embraces the process of deconstructing what has
gone before so new realities and realizations can be consciously
created out of that.
8. Value Self-Reflective Time.
The self-learner uses quiet alone time to learn about self.
This down-time might be meditative, a walk, reverie, daydreaming
or journaling. The self-learner places a high value on this
private time as a means to re-charge batteries, to take stock
and to gain personal awareness.
9. Use Journaling.
We often learn best when we have a mirror against which
to view ourselves. Writing makes our thought processes clearer,
and enhances our self-awareness by our looking back on our
actions. The self-learner gains confidence from seeing improvements
10. Translate Your Learnings Into Action.
If knowledge is power, then taking that powerful knowledge
and putting it into action is the ultimate power. Knowledge
without action does not change the world. Peak performers
develop strategies for taking personal knowledge and putting
it into action in ways that are personally meaningful for
them. The self-learner places a high priority on this last
piece of the change process.
Your Mental Game Action Plan:
What action will you take this week in becoming better at
self-coaching? Here are three questions to get you started.
Copyright © Bill Cole, MS, MA 2005,
2008 All rights reserved.
1. What system can you develop to increase awareness about
2. Who can you partner with to assist you in your self-coaching
3. How will you translate what you learn about yourself into
immediately useful action?
To learn more about how coach training can help you become
a better change agent, visit Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental
Game Coach at www.mentalgamecoach.com/Programs/CoachingSuccess.html.
This article covers only one small part of the mental game.
A complete mental training program includes motivation and goal-setting,
pre-event mental preparation, post-event review and analysis,
mental strengthening, self-regulation training, breath control
training, motor skill training, mental rehearsal, concentration
training, pressure-proofing, communication training, confidence-building,
breaking through mental barriers, slump prevention, mental toughness
training, flow training, relaxation training, momentum training,
psych-out proofing and media training.
For a comprehensive overview of your mental abilities you need
an assessment instrument that identifies your complete mental
strengths and weaknesses. For a free, easy-to-take 65-item sport
psychology assessment tool you can score right on the spot,
This assessment gives you a quick snapshot of your strengths
and weaknesses in your mental game. You can use this as a guide
in creating your own mental training program, or as the basis
for a program you undertake with Bill Cole, MS, MA to improve
your mental game. This assessment would be an excellent first
step to help you get the big picture about your mental game.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness
and coaching, is founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching
Bill is also founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports.
He is a multiple Hall of Fame honoree, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published
book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive
article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
Article Source: MentalGameCoach.com
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