There was a time when sports were just sports. Athletes would compete against each other, and the best would come out on top. Hit the ball farther. Score more (or less) points than the other team. Get to the finish line faster than your competitors. Very little time was spent training in the off-season, refining nutrition, or working on other elements of an athlete’s performance.
Today, sports are more than just sports. They are big businesses, with business demands, licensing contracts, branding partnerships, social media strategies, and of course, endorsements.
Athletes today need to be good not only at their sport but also skilled in navigating the complex landscape of sport. That’s where executive coaches come in.
Executive coaches can help athletes strengthen their mindset, perform at their highest level, grow their businesses, learn new skills, maximize their opportunities, develop a powerful way of being, and become better leaders.
If you are an athlete looking to take your career to the next level here are 5 reasons why an executive coach is someone you want in your corner.
Our good friend, George Mumford, worked with Kobe Bryant on mental performance.
In his book, The Mindful Athlete, George documents a story where Kobe wanted to get better at three-point shooting. Based on the mental work he was doing he committed to bringing this vision to life by creating a new habit for himself in the offseason. He would make, not just take, but make 1,300 three-pointers a day. Imagine how much time and sacrifice that took. Imagine what he had to say no to in order to get what he wanted as a professional athlete. Kobe tapped into his Mamba Mentality, developed a clear intention, and was willing to pay the price to get what he wanted. As a result, his three-point percentage drastically increased.
Many athletes believe that their playing days are the pinnacle of both their personal and professional achievements. Often that results in athletes not leveraging their connections and accessibility.
I was working with an NHL player who wanted to ensure he made some money after his playing days were over. I asked him if he’d like to earn more than he was currently earning on his current seven-figure contract, he laughed and told me that wasn’t going to happen. I asked if he knew anyone earning more than him in a business he was interested in, and in less than 3 seconds he said a name. He now is being mentored by that business leader and has a clear plan to achieve his goal of earning more after he is done with his professional career.
You read that correctly. We’ve all been there. Our minds get twisted all the time. Athletes, coaches, and sports executives all get tangled in the what if’s and the complaints and the struggles and the drama. How do you steer clear of this?
This is different than having a Mamba Mentality. This is about developing strategies to declutter your mind. Consider Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets. You don’t have to be an expert to know that there’s a lot of clutter that Ben has allowed to get in his head and decrease his performance and presence as an athlete. His issue isn’t his talent – he’s a masterful defender; one of the best in the league. The problem isn’t his physical capabilities. He’s a 6’11 powerhouse with the handles of a point guard. So, what got in his head to the point where he refuses to shoot? What’s got him so tangled up that he claims his mental blocks are creating back spasms?
What Ben doesn’t know is he’s caught up in his survival needs. That’s what has his mind so twisted. He is more committed to looking good, feeling good, being right, and being in control than doing the necessary, sacrificial work that Kobe was willing to do to get better. Imagine the type of player Ben Simmons would be if he let go of his survival needs and humbled himself to work with a Novus Global Sports coach.
We all have comfort zones. I don’t care who you are or what you do. Athletes are not exempt.
If you’re in professional sports becoming addicted to a comfort zone can cost you hundreds of millions of dollars, it can cost you your starting spot, it can get you traded, it can shorten your career, and it can make you a horrible teammate.
Your comfort zone isn’t your friend. That’s why we help our clients get comfortable with discomfort. One of my clients has fully embraced this practice by adopting the mindset of being the hardest working practice player on his team. He’s the Jimmy Butler of his team. Jimmy has a rigorous training schedule and wakes up every morning at 4 am to train and get better while the rest of the competition is sleeping in their comfortable beds. That’s what makes him so great. That’s why he’s been able to exceed expectations and become one of the best players in the game. His talent has a roof but his dedication to hard work and becoming comfortable with discomfort has turned him into a perennial all-star and max contract player demanding top dollar in one of the most competitive sports leagues in the world.
Athletes perform better when they hold account for their actions – when they take responsibility for their success or failure.
Hiring an executive coach is a big decision. But if you are an athlete who is looking to take your career to the next level, then it is a decision that you should consider. These are just a few of the many reasons why athletes are hiring executive coaches.
If you’re ready to go beyond high performance, book a call with a Novus Global Executive Coach today!