LeBron James has one. Tiger Woods has one. Serena Williams has one too. So why do the best of the best need a coach? To be even better. To ensure their competition doesn’t catch them off guard and pass them.
One of the best reasons to hire a coach, whether in sports or in business, is because a coach will help you to see the forest through the trees. Even when you’re in the zone, blind spots are present that you may derail you. In many cases, they are inconsequential minutia that steal your attention, so you are missing out on the bigger, more important things.
Take for example a jar, filled with rocks, pebbles and sand. The rocks are the things that are most important to you, such as family, health and relationships. The pebbles signify other important things, like work and school. The sand signifies the small stuff.
If you fill your jar with the sand, there may be some room for the pebbles, but definitely not the rocks. Fill your jar with the rocks first, then the pebbles will fill the empty space and the sand will what remains.
The same is true with your life. Focus on big things first. The things that are most important, like yourself, your family and your health. When flying on an airplane, the flight attendant begins the flight with safety demonstrations. He or she will remind you that in the event of a loss of cabin pressure, you are to put your air mask on before helping others. This is true in life and in work. If you focus on others before yourself, you won’t be able to help them when they need you.
A coach will notice the sand in your life that is distracting or derailing you. Tiger Woods may have the best golf swing, but his coach helped him focus on his chipping, a blind spot in his overall game. Serena Williams’ coach helps her focus mentally on her game and block out distractions outside of the game.
Many people think they can handle the blind spots and mental distractions on their own without a coach. But that’s the tricky thing about blind spots. You don’t know what you don’t know. And your coach will help you see the big picture forest, through the distracting little trees.