Sunday, April 23, 2017

Manning on Coaching

Photo: Matt Kryger/USA Today Network)
As I begin this blog, let me share a couple of disclaimers.  First, former University of Tennessee and NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is not everyone’s favorite person.  Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.  Second, athletic coaching and life coaching are not exactly alike but there are some commonalities.    If you will allow me to proceed with those things understood, I want to share some comments that Manning made in a recent charity event in Indianapolis.

Manning was an outstanding quarterback but he is also a generous philanthropist, community leader, and businessman.  When questioned recently about his career, he had some very positive things to say about athletic coaching that also seem to apply to life coaching.

In talking about his former coach, Tony Dungy, Manning said:

“Coaches have been the best leaders I’ve been around. Tony Dungy was every bit as good a human being as he was a coach. Treated you like such a professional, like such a grown up, that you just didn’t want to let him down. It was a very effective way of leading. You respected him so much that you played harder for him.”

If you are an athletic coach or a life coach, you want to follow Dungy’s example--treat the person you are coaching as a grown-up and a professional.  This level of respect provides the trust upon which successful coaching relationships are built.  If the client perceives that the coach does not believe in his or her capabilities, there will be little or no progress made by the client.

Manning also explained that even after he and his brother Eli became NFL quarterbacks, they continued to train each summer with his former offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, presently at Duke University, on basic things like taking a snap, standing in a huddle, and calling a play.  Manning noted:

“Don’t think you ever got it all figured out because the little things matter. And if you ever think the little things don’t matter, and you can brush those aside, I promise you in whatever you’re doing, your game’s going to slip.”

No matter where a person is in his or her career, a life coach just as much as an athletic coach can help a leader make sure that the little things are covered--being true to one’s values, having a healthy work/life balance, achieving clarity in goals and purpose.

Manning was and is a lifelong learner who is currently looking forward to the next phase of his life.  I imagine that a coach will figure into that at some point.

Whether you are an NFL quarterback, a pastor, an entrepreneur, or the leader of a non-profit ministry, you can benefit from having a coach.

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