The following is an article recently written by strength coach Michael Boyle on his website StrengthCoach.Com.
The other day I was thinking about some of my former interns who I never see at conferences. Sadly, there are far too many. I often ask them if they are going to attend a particular conference that I am excited about and the response is almost always the same. “I have workouts scheduled that day so I’m not going to be able to go”. These men and women are the ones that come to mind when I say “no time to get better”. Most of these coaches are doing the same workouts they were doing ten years ago and consistently use the excuse that they are too busy to attend conferences. In fact, they are actually too busy to get better. They are so busy trying to be dedicated to their athletes that they are in fact failing them. I believe many of these coaches have the best of intentions. They view an educational day off as a step back for their athletes rather than a step forward.
I hate to tell anyone but, we are not nearly as indispensable as we think. If our athletes work out for one day without us, the world will not end. If the head coach sees you are not there for one workout he probably won’t fire you. Tell him or her that you need to take the time to get better. Think of it as practice.
Ask yourself how many conferences you go to per year? If it is one or less, you are too busy to get better. Ask yourself how many books you read a year in the field. If the answer is less than ten, perhaps you are too busy to get better. How many DVD’s have you purchased and watched this year? No time to get better?
Time spent coaching is one thing. I think that is what most of us like to do best. However if you are always too busy coaching to practice the fine art of self-improvement eventually your coaching will suffer.
Business experts and business coaches often talk about the difference between working in your business and working on your business. If you are always working in your business, you are no more than another employee. You need to spend time working on your business for your business to thrive. In coaching it is the same principle. If you are always coaching but never trying to learn, you eventually fall behind. It’s like playing game after game with no practice.
Don’t be too busy to get better. Set goals for yourself. Set a goal for the number of seminars you want to attend this year. Set a goal for the number of books you will read and DVD’s you will buy. Maybe even set a goal for the number of other coaches you intend to visit this year. I attend a lot of seminars as a speaker and ask anyone, I also sit and listen to the lectures. In addition I set a goal of attending at least one seminar a year as a participant, not as a speaker. Ask yourself honestly “have I been too busy to get better?”.