Coachseek partnership with The Sports Agency – when superpowers unite!
Coachseek Updates

Coachseek partnership with The Sports Agency – when superpowers unite!

It’s important to work with people you like, which is why when we met the guys over at The Sports Agency, it was a bit of no brainer to partner up with them.

Sports Agency Coachseek Partnership

These guys are doing great things creating apps for sports associations, sports clubs and sports departments in schools. It’s making communicating with members, clients and students a breeze thanks to their push notifications, but with a heap of added extras as well…just take a look at their diverse range of clients so far!

 

It’s been a popular request for our growing base of coaches and clubs around the world, that they would also like a way to communicate with their members. The Sports Agency offer that in spades!

 

And to add even more visibility for coaches, simply adding our Booking tile onto a Sports Agency mobile app, means in one click your club members can see your availability, book and pay for classes!

SportsAgency

We’re looking forward to working closely with these guys. It will be the ultimate Coaching, School or Club solution, offering the Mobile App from the Sports Agency, and the Coachseek management software for bookings and scheduling!

 

Keen to know more? Have a chat with us about a combined solution now.

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http://www.coachseek.com/website-packages
Coachseek Updates

Announcing Coachseek’s Complete Website & Back Office Software Packages

 

As a busy coach, your website is often the first touch point for many parents and prospective clients. It’s a shop front that displays what you do… and what makes you unique to your competitor down the road. It’s your brand, method and philosophy and you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Are you still stuck with something like this?

Worldsgreatestwebsite

and would prefer something like this?

 

We’ve spoken to many coaches who are looking for a beautiful management software and are also creating a new website at the same time! So it makes sense to roll the two into a fully integrated package!

 

Who are we?

We’re the talented team who have designed and developed our software, eBook, podcasts and website – these smart folk are now available to build your very own website.

 

Team Coachseek
Team Coachseek

Your shop front can look incredible – AND have our Coachseek software built-in for 3 or 5 years at no extra cost! That, my friends, is an incredible deal.

 

The Coachseek Website & Booking Package:

See our website plans

 

You can now get a beautiful, functional, mobile responsive site, complete with the entire Coachseek back-end admin solution from just $1,495. Our management tool alone costs $1,200 over 5 years, so this is a unique opportunity to get the best of both worlds. A beautiful shop front, complete with a time-saving admin solution to help you take your business to the next level. Leave the backend work to us focus on what you love; coaching!

 

Our package includes a full front and back end solution. We’ll purchase your domain name (if required), create your email addresses, and get your hosting sorted. Plus, as part of our ongoing monthly fee, you’ll get regular support, training and updates across the website and management tool.

So let’s get started! We’re on your team. Let’s talk!

View the packages here

Or get in touch with us here or flick us a note [email protected]

 

A Quick Note: Is Your Website Mobile friendly?

With Google’s latest update to their search engine, if your website isn’t mobile optimised, you won’t be found on the search results anymore – plain and simple. Google has signalled loud and clear they want the internet to hurry up and look good on mobile.

Test if your current website is mobile friendly here.

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New Features in Coachseek February 2016!
Coachseek Updates

New Features in Coachseek February 2016!

 

We’ve listened to your feedback and here’s a round-up of new features we’ve added to Coachseek over the Christmas & New Year break. You can see we’ve been really busy!

 

Before we jump into the details, we wanted you to know that we’ve been working on a better way of communicating these new features to you all . We’ll continue to post round up blogs like this one every month or so, but we’ll also notify you within your own Coachseek account, so you never miss an update!

 

So… Let’s dive in and show you what we’ve built to make Coachseek the best management tool for your coaching business.

Email & SMS Messaging

Messaging your customers just got a whole lot easier. If you’re on the desktop version of Coachseek you will find the messaging icon in the Course Overview (Attendance & Payment) in your sessions/services.

 

Watch the Video – How to Send Messages from Coachseek

From your Attendance List:

If you’re on the desktop version of Coachseek, just click the email icon.

Coach messaging program coachseek

 

From your Mobile:

If you’re on the Mobile Browser, iOS or Android versions of Coachseek, you can SMS & Email directly from your phone by selecting the Mail icon.

Mobile Messaging Attendance List

 

From your Customer Database:

You can also email your customers directly from your customer database, just head over to the “Customers” tab in Coachseek.

Messaging Customer DB

 

Custom Fields in Customer Data & Online Booking

Among one of the most requested features for Coachseek (second to more colours for sessions) was being able to create custom/additional info fields for your customers (e.g. Medical Info, Parents Name, Emergency Contact etc.)
To add custom fields, simply login to the desktop version of Coachseek and click onto the “Booking” tab at the top. Select the “Booking Fields” mini-tab and create all of your custom fields .

From the Booking Tab:

Custom Fields 1

Custom Fields 2

 

On Your Coachseek Booking Site:

Your custom fields will show up on your Online Booking mini-site when your customers make a booking.

Custom Fields 3

 

The details can be found in your customer database after the customers have booked on.

(Note: You can also export all your customer data, including the data in the custom fields onto an Excel Spreadsheet)

 

Copy & Paste Sessions on the Calendar

If you have sessions that repeat every term or season, we’ve made it much easier to copy & paste these sessions if you want them to repeat.

 

From the Calendar:

Start by jumping onto the Desktop version of Coachseek.

CopyPaste Sessions 1

 

With your cursor select the session on the calendar you want to copy. with your cursor, simply select and hold, while simultaneously holding down the “shift” key and drag the session to the time or date you want to copy it to (jump into month view to make it easier)

On the prompt below, select entire course.

CopyPaste Sessions 2

 

The course will copy over – too easy!

CopyPaste Sessions 3

 

Pro-Rata Pricing Switch

Some of you have asked for a button to remove the ability to have your course prices automatically adjust based on how many weeks/sessions had already passed- Well, it’s here!

 

Watch the video – How Pro-Rata Pricing works

For Example:

You have a 10 week course that costs $100 per customer to attend on your calendar. Its 3 weeks deep and there are 7 weeks left of the course. If there is still spaces available in the course to fill, Coachseek will automatically set a pro-rata price for this session at $70 (as there is 7 remaining sessions).

 

Coachseek does this by taking the full course price ($100), and dividing it by the weeks/sessions it runs for ($100/10 weeks = $10 per session). Then applies that individual session price to the remaining sessions (7 weeks x $10 = $70).

From the Booking Tab:

Coachseek’s system automatically does this behind the scenes. However if you don’t want this to happen for your coaching business – then head to the “Booking” tab on the desktop version of Coachseek and in the “Pricing” mini-tab turn Pro-Rata Pricing OFF.

Pro Rata Pricing

Customer Data Export

You have total control over your data in Coachseek, and we’ve made it possible to now export your customer database to  a CSV file (if you have custom fields activated, these will be exported as well).

 

Watch the Video – How to Export Your Customer List/Database

From the Customers Tab:

Just head to the “Customers” tab in the desktop version of Coachseek and select the “Download CSV” button on the bottom right.

Customer Export

Quick Note:

The export works best when you use the latest version of the Google Chrome browser. We’ve had issues with the data not formatting correctly with Firefox. If you have any issues just flick us a note on [email protected].

 

 

 

Course Overview

Finally, we’ve redesigned the attendance lists to give you a snapshot of the whole course vs. just the individual session. This makes it easier to see a whole overview of your course, attendance and payments in just a few clicks.

 

Watch the Video – Understanding the Course Overview

From the Attendance List:

Course Overview attendance

 

From the Payment List:

You can easily check off individual students for full or partial session payments, likewise for attendance. Communicating with students is easier with the ability to Email or SMS them directly from the course overview.

Course Overview payment

 

From the Details Tab:

You can also easily edit the details of the sessions in the details tab.

Course Overview details

 

On top of this we’ve done heaps of stuff behind the scenes to make Coachseek load quicker and backup your data more regularly so if you drop off out internet you won’t lose any of your changes – not bad huh?

 

Helpful How-to Videos:

 

That’s it for now, however over the next few months we have a raft of other new features we’ll be bringing online to make Coachseek even better… This includes adding multiple coaches to a course, promo codes, and the ability to pre sell bundles of sessions – stay tuned!

 

If you’re looking for a way to streamline your coaching admin and get back out there, give us a call +1-888-762-7187 (our other regional numbers are at the bottom of the page) or flick us a note on [email protected] and we’d be happy to chat and get you going with Coachseek!

 

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Coachseek Podcast #2 – Mark Tennant on Driving success: Chance conversations, goal setting and finding the perfect mentor
Coachseek Podcast

Coachseek Podcast #2 – Mark Tennant on Driving success: Chance conversations, goal setting and finding the perfect mentor

 

 

Coachseek Podcast

 

Listen to Mark Tennant in episode 2 of the Coachseek podcast as we drill into how Inspire2Coach has become one of the leading coaching and coach ed companies in the UK; how to drive your coaching business forward in 2016, and the importance of dropping ego and finding the perfect mentor.

 

Mark is also an LTA qualified master coach education tutor. Mark is a key member of the team who developed the ITF Tennis Play and Stay worldwide campaign in 2007. More recently, he worked with the ITF in the design and implementation of the new Tennis Express worldwide program for adults which launched in 2013.

 

He’s a regular and respected conference speaker having presented in over 70 countries and writing articles, programs, resources, and staff development programs for numerous tennis organizations. Mark was also recently voted as one of the Top 50 Influential Sports Coaches for 2015 by our team right here at Coachseek, so it’s great to have him as a guest today and drill into his story some more.

 

 

Give us a glimpse on what you’re working on right now.

Mark:

Well, it’s been a busy 2015. When I listen to some of the things that you just reeled off there, I’m never that comfortable talking about my achievements in those respects, but I think the thing that I get from what you just mentioned to me is that I’m extremely proud to have been involved with some fantastic people and fantastic organizations. You know, you mention for example about the ITF and Tennis Europe and that’s been a very rewarding and, in many ways, humbling experience as well. I think what all of that has done is reignited or ignited further my passion to try and help coaches to develop and to be the best that they can be.

The gap in all of what you’ve mentioned really is the fact that I’m not finished yet and we as a company are not finished yet. We’re just at the start of what we’re hoping to be a long and beneficial journey not just for us but for coaches around the world as well.

On what ignited your journey to start Inspire 2 Coach.

Ian:

Oh, that’s a great segue into this next part as well because I’ve been really interested in reading up about your journey and how Inspire 2 Coach started so it would be great if you could take us back to when it all began, it was around 2007, and how it’s all grown from there.

 

Coachseek Podcast

 

Mark:

Yeah, I mean, like a lot of things, it almost happened by accident or by a chance conversation and I might actually come back to this business about chance conversations because they’re a big part of my personal sort of philosophy, so remind me to come back to that one later. But it came from a chance conversation really when a colleague of mine or friend of mine who is now the other director and owner of Inspire 2 Coach, a guy called Richard Marklow. He and I were driving up to Leeds for a tutor training session with the LTA so we shared a lift and we were talking about the fact that we were both at the crossroads with our own sort of careers and that we — it coincidently happened that we were both looking for a new challenge and a new project.

 

By the end of that three-hour journey, we’d pretty much decided that there was an opportunity for us to set up a business and the timing was perfect for both him and for me. So I think it’s fair to say that Inspire 2 Coach was born somewhere on the M1 on the way up to Leeds.

 

And from there, you know, we just took some little steps to begin with. To begin with, it was just five of us. We hooked up with another friend and colleague of ours, a lady called Penny Garbutt, who became the company secretary, that’s in a legal sense rather than in the admin sense. We bought a few of her tennis clubs that she was running in the area, so two of her coaches joined us. So we started with a team of five. We had no base, we had nowhere to work from so we used to have our meetings around our kitchen table with with bacon butties in her house and we gradually, over a period of two or three years, grew from that to become a fledgling sort of coach education provider and tennis sort of programs business and things have grown from then.

 

Ian:

Yeah, and it sounds like there’s so many aspects to it as well because looking through your site and all that you guys are up to at the moment, you’ve got all the different aspects along coaching, coach education, an online shop, competitions and tournaments, camps as well, so it’d be interesting to understand a couple of the highlights along the way so far.

 

Mark:

Well, it’s actually quite a difficult business for people to understand in many respects because as you say, it’s quite a broad business with quite a few different aspects to it. I manage our coach education programs and my colleague, Richard, is in charge of the club programs which encompasses all of the camps and to the competition, and the things like that. So it’s quite a broad business. Again, as I said to you a minute ago, we’re not finished with any of it. You know, the club programs are going well but there’s more to do. The competition is always a bit of a struggle in this country, trying to get kids to compete and all that type of stuff, it’s not easy. There’s a lot of competition in tennis camps and sports activities camps in the holidays, as you well know. So we’re still pushing on with a lot of these projects and my colleague, Richard, deals with all of that.

Inspire 2 Coach

My job really is to try and develop the coach education part of the business further and that means finding different ways of finding ways to support coaches through their education and through their training around the world. So there’s a lot of exciting projects that we are currently involved with and a lot of things that we haven’t even started yet which are still in our heads.

On Coach Education in UK.

Ian:

Can you give us a little bit more detail on the coach education side in terms of how it’s all come about?

 

Mark:

Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if any of your listeners are aware, but in the UK, the coach education scene is slightly different to the way it’s done around the world. The traditional model is that coach education is done by the federation, but obviously there are some private organizations like the PTR, but generally it tends to be done by the Tennis Federation. In the UK, obviously we have the Lawn Tennis Association, but they have actually subcontracted a lot of the coach education to private companies like Inspire 2 Coach through a network of coach education centers.

 

A coach education center is an organization that is approved, effectively by government and by the LTA and quality assured to deliver qualifications on behalf of British Tennis. So we have two coach education centers in the UK, one at Bolton in Lancashire and then one in the University of Warwick in Coventry where we’re based. And from there, we deliver level III and level IV courses and one day, what we call our CPD program, are one-day courses for coaches. And then around the country we also deliver level I and level II courses, mentoring programs and so on. So being a coach education center gives us the opportunity to work with the LTA, but also to work independently to develop our own coach education philosophy.

On running a great coaching business & finding a mentor.

Ian:

Right, and so drilling down into this a little bit more because I think for a lot of our listeners, they’re extremely interested in wanting to know how they can run a better coaching business and a great coaching business, and a better program. So as we head into 2016, for any coaches that are starting out or they’re reviewing their goals for the new year, if they were going to be doing a self-help check for want of better words on their own business, where would you advise is the best place for them to start?

 

 

Mark:

When you sent to the questions out before this interview I was thinking about that question more than any others. It’s quite an interesting question because it sort of made me realize I should probably do the same as well, but to me,

”I think as a young coach or as a new coach starting out, I think it’s just so important that you’ve got experience and respected people who are willing to help you without payment, who are willing to support you, willing to advise you. But I think as a coach, to be willing to go and look for help and to be willing to listen and to take advice from people, I think, is so important.”

 

I mean, qualifications are always important, but they’re not the thing that really make a person a coach. I think that’s about learning the tricks of the trade and learning the ropes of what coaching is about day in and day out. So to me, the number one thing would be find somebody that you can work with and who is willing to just sit down and have a little chat with you every now and then or share a piece of advice, or direct you towards some great information. And just be humble enough to take advice from them, to listen, to, as we would say, look in the mirror and always be prepared to evaluate the way that you do things and the way that you go about what you do, and just always be looking to improve.

 

It’s something that we’re constantly talking to coaches about, you know? Just go and find a mentor, go and speak to people, just go and get some advice. And a lot of people don’t do it. I don’t think they believe just how important it is and that would always be my number one peace advice as a health check, it actually is: find that person. It perhaps doesn’t even need to be a more qualified coach. As long as it’s somebody who has a willingness to spend a bit of time with you and to discuss things, it might be somebody out of tennis altogether who’s in business and wants to share with you some tricks of the trade about how they operate in business outside of tennis or even outside of sport. I think quite often tennis is a bit insular and it tends to operate in a bit of a bubble and I think we need to look outside the bubble.

 

So my advice would be to find somebody and get used to talking to them and asking questions and not to worry about whether you’re imposing on their time, but just to find that person because if they are genuinely willing to help, then they’ll find the time to help you.

 

Ian:

That’s a great insight and a great piece of advice. And interestingly, who’s that person for you?

 

Coachseek Podcast
Dave Miley, Head of Development @ The International Tennis Federation

Mark:

I’ve got several. I mean, the number one is Richard, my colleague. Although we work together, I’ve learned so much from him. I learned a lot from all our other coaches as well because they’re all very different people. I’ve learned a lot from Dave Miley at the ITF. I’ve learned a lot from my friend and colleague, Hrvoje Zmajic, from Croatia, who is the Tennis Europe development officer and I would always go to him for advice. And then in the UK, a lot of your listeners will be very familiar with somebody called Keith Reynolds who’s a very experienced and respected coach who always has a different perspective on things and I respect and admire Keith immensely and would never have any hesitation to ask him for any advice or insight into things.

 

I’m in a very fortunate position because I’ve worked with so many coaches around the world is I can pick up little nuggets and ask for advice or a different way of looking at things. There are a lot of people who are willing to give advice and time out there and that would always be my number one peace advice, I think, for a coach that’s just starting out.

 

On page top 50

On developing your own coaching program.

Ian:

Going into a little bit more depth for those guys who are out there day in and day out and have been for years, and again, they’re always wanting to look for ways to get better and improve, I mean, obviously you’d be a go to guy having grown a coaching business with so many aspects to it and with the coach education background as well. Such a rich and depth of knowledge there that I’d be really curious to know for our listeners what are some of the best practice fundamentals or maybe recommended frameworks that you would suggest they take an overview of their business to see if they’re running an efficient program?

 

Mark:

I don’t think verbally I can give you any frameworks. I think the first thing is to understand where you are, so I suppose it would be to start by doing a bit of an audit of where you are;

 

  • What does your facility look like?
  • What does your facility offer?
  • How many players do you have?
  • What could your facility offer?
  • How many players would you like?
  • How does that fit with your coaching interest, your coaching philosophy, your coaching experience?

 

Are you the type of person that’s more interested in working with ten and unders, in which case it might be that you start working more with local schools and developing that part of the program?

 

Are you more the type of coach who likes to work with high-level players, in which case it might be working in partnership with a lot of other tennis clubs where you can pool resources for example with your performance programs, something that doesn’t happen enough, in my opinion, around the world. Maybe you’re interested in the recreational adult tennis side.

 

”So I think the first thing is to have an audit of yourself and your program and to ask yourself what sort of coaching do I like? What sort of coaching an I good at? What sort of coaching would I like to be involved with?”

What can we do with what we’ve currently got? What could we do more of? What do we need in order to drive the business in the right direction? It’d be those sorts of questions I think I’d be encouraging people to ask. And, again, to ask other people.

 

I mean, just to share in anecdote, just literally last night I had an email from a guy in Peru, a parent in Peru who is a parent of a child who he thinks is quite promising but they don’t have the money or the facilities near them to help his daughter to achieve what they want. So he’s been humble enough to get on an email and send me a long email and he’s asking for help. And in this day and age where it so easy to communicate with people, that person or that advice doesn’t have to be in your own town or your own city. You know, here we are 10-11,000 miles apart and we’re talking about tennis. I think it’s just so important that you’re able to find people to ask advice and maybe that person could help you audit your facility a little bit in a way perhaps you’ve never thought of doing before.

Bj5NPa0IcAADC5S

Ian:

And is that something you guys have seen happen like with coaches you’ve worked with as well? Is there a real life example of a facility or center or coach that you’ve worked with and seen some good results come of it?

 

Mark:

I mean, we do quite a lot of mentoring in the UK and it’s starting to happen internationally. I work, for example, with a club in Finland where we mentor not just the coaches, but also the guys in charge of the program. So there are examples of relationships like that that I can talk about. I think in terms of coaches out there, generally, I think most coaches around the world tend to operate in isolation. It’s something that I see a lot of in different countries, which is that a lot of countries don’t have the support systems for coaches. We’re very fortunate in the UK and through other well-developed tennis nations that also have those support structures, but in countries where the support structures don’t exist and where it’s not driven by the federation, I think it’s really important that the coaches do that sort of thing themselves. But a lot of coaches don’t actually talk to each other and I hear a lot of the stuff about coaches actually being worried about working with other coaches because they’re worried that those coaches are then going to pinch their players. I think it’s time that coaches started to work together in a more productive way and if ever there was anything I could do to help that along, I would certainly be willing to help, but there are people out there, federations and private organizations, who would also do the same. But it doesn’t even have to be done on a formal level. I think it’s the sort of thing where if some of you want to get better at what they’re doing or they want to explore new areas of coaching, then it’s really up to them and not to wait for somebody else to do it for them, but just to start looking for that advice, and for that help, and just to start doing it. You know, we’re all very good at talking about things, but the ones who make the difference are the ones who actually stop talking and actually get on with it.

 

Ian:

You mentioned earlier on regarding the relationship you have with the club in Finland, it would be interesting to just understand how you’ve helped those guys and what results there’s been, and what you’ve kind of looked at and helped improve because I think that’s always powerful for people to understand. You know, it’ll give them more things to go away and then think about, about their own business as well.

 

Mark:

Okay, well about three years ago now, I had an email completely out of the blue from a guy in Finland who is a young guy, was a good tennis player, and he is now in charge of the 10 and under program at his club in Tampere, which is not the capital, it’s not Helsinki, but I think it’s the second biggest city in Finland and it’s a big club. He just out of the blue emailed me and said, “Look, I found out little bit about you. I’m hoping you might be able to help.” So he’s done exactly what I suggested that other people should do, which is to ask for help. “Could we talk a little bit about my program? Is there anything you can do to help me?” So we talked on Skype and he sent me some of his programs and we had a look at it.

Inspire2Coach

Anyway, one thing led to another, I went to Tampere and I’ve been then five or six times since then and I spend most of my time with him just looking at him as a person and how he communicates with his team, how he sets up his programs, how he sets up the training for his coaches, how he interacts with the coaches to try and get the best out of them, how he moved the team around to make sure that you’ve got skill sets lined up with different areas of the program. We do some on-court training with the coaches, some more formal sort of coaches education, but most of the time is spent not even sometimes at the tennis center, it’s in a coffee shop or in a bar somewhere in a hotel and it’s just talking about him, about his program, and just looking at the different individuals that work in the team and looking at their skillsets and which areas of development they need. Then maybe the next day going onto court with that particular coach and spending an hour or two looking at something specific like how they rotate players in their groups or how they progress from a closed practice to a more open practice, or something more specific and coaching. But it really comes from the conversations that are driven by him because this isn’t about me, this is about him as a person, him as a manager, and about the performance of the program. Not just the financial performance, but the operational performance of the program.

 

So, you know, that’s a good example of where the club has grown, it’s really branched out into local schools. They’re now looking at taking over — I hope I can say this publicly, I don’t know who’s going to be listening, but they have talked about taking over other facilities, and also how to set up pathways to allow players to be able to develop and maximize their potential, and to set up pathways for coaches as well. So we’ve talked about, you know, coaches visiting other clubs, we’ve talked about coaches coming over to the UK to experience different types of coaches education, and that’s all come from one email where he speculatively wanted to have a chat about the program and it’s grown into a relationship which I think we — certainly I really value and I think he really values as well. We’re in fairly regular contact and one or two visits a year to Tampere to see how the guys are getting on and to push things on.

Overcoming fears and growing your coaching business

Ian:

That’s good and I think given the query you’ve touched on so far in the section, It will get good to get your insight in this as well, but many of the coaches we speak to and are dealing with on Coachseek are — many of them come to us saying like they may be scared or little bit reluctant to grow past like one venue or one club, or just themselves as a coach. When you think this is?

 

Mark:

I guess if you think about a typical tennis lesson, leaving aside programs and facilities for a second, if you think about a typical tennis lesson, I suppose the coach likes to feel like they’re in control, right? They lead the session, they’re in charge or in control of the players and maybe that same mentality sort of transcends beyond the lesson into the way in which they operate their business as well. You know, if I’m running a business that’s under my control because I’m in one facility, then maybe I’m sort of feeling like I’ve got a handle on things, but if I start to branch out more, then perhaps I’m worried about losing control a little bit more. It’s like a lot of coaches say, “I can work with a group of four or a group of six, but working with ten or twelve is too much.” And it’s not too much as long as you have the skills and the organization to be able to deal with more numbers. And it’s the same whether you’re talking about one lesson on one tennis court, moving to one lesson on, let’s say, three courts with three times or two times as many players. It’s exactly the same with facility management and branching out your coaching program across different facilities.

”It’s just about changing the way that you operate a little bit, but without compromising on your values and your philosophy, and it’s about making sure that you get advice if you need it or help if you need it to be able to make that happen.”

 

It’s a typical model in business. You see it with coffee shops, you see it with factories. You know, they start out with one facility and then they branch out to other places but it has to be done in a way that’s structured, and organized, and well-planned. A lot of coaches, I guess, by their nature, tend to be quite creative and they probably tend to make things up as they go a little bit. I think you probably need some sort of planning and some sort of business plan to it just to make sure that there is actually some sort of thought process of where the business is going. But it’s certainly the sort of thing that I would encourage coaches to do. I mean, that’s how we’ve developed our business, is by doing exactly what you’ve just said. It’s certainly possible to do it. I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but it’s certainly possible.

 

Ian:

And that’s where the mentorship you mentioned earlier on comes in as well and I think part of that leads nicely into just touching on the coach education and personal development side a little bit more because part of having a well-run coaching setup is obviously offering development opportunities for yourself and for members of your team. I know recently I was reading one of Seth Godin’s articles which he mentions a typical team member is maybe going to work 2000 hours for you in an average work year and typically most businesses in many industries only commit 1% of that time to personal development. It’s a hugely low number, so I wonder where you would recommend a director of coaching or a head coach start to make sure they’re putting the right things in place to make sure that they’re getting the right pathway in place for developing their coaching team.

 

Mark:

I think what you’ve just said is part of it. I think it’s important to have pathways. I mean, any self-respecting and good quality director or head coach, or whatever title they have, should always have the interest and the development, the personal development of their staff, you know, they should always have that in mind and always be looking for opportunities to help people to grow, but I think it’s a two-way thing, Ian. I think it’s also a lot of it is down to the coach.

”What I see a lot is, around the world, is coaches who don’t really evolve and who don’t really change, and who are the same in year one and then the same in year five, and year ten and they’re doing the same of things, the same old drills, coaching the same old way.”

 

So whilst I think it’s important that the director or head coach, or whatever it is, is sort of playing a key part in that, I think the most important part is the person themselves wanting to develop, wanting to improve.

 

So, you know, one thing that I would always want as a director is having people knocking on my door saying, “I’d like to do this, I’d like to do that. Can you help me to find an opportunity where I could do this or that?” That’s the sort of thing I’d be looking for. You know, if you’ve got good people, it’s not because they’re just good coaches, but because they’re good people who want to get better and who are able to evaluate, who are able to look at things in a slightly different way, who are able to always push the boundaries of their own coaching. And I think when you have people like that in your business, it’s a breath of fresh air.

 

When it’s the other side of that sort of coin and you’re the boss and you’re trying to get somebody to go on a course or you’re trying to get somebody to do better in your meeting with the resistance all the time, that’s really hard. So whilst it’s important for the director to encourage that, I think a lot of it is down to the individual. I really do.

On characteristics of a good mentor

Ian:

Yeah, no, that’s a fair answer. And I think, just to circle back around with regards to the mentorship side of things as well, it would be interesting just — I get a strong feeling from this interview that a lot of coaches really do need to think about who’s going to be a good mentor for them. Like, what would you say are the characteristics of a good mentor? Because obviously there’s a lot of people out there who you might think they’re pretty respectable, but you need to make sure they’re good fit, right?

 

Mark:

Yeah, just before I get into that, something else I just wanted to tack on to the last comment I just made is that when you talk about mentoring, actually a lot of people have that wrong right at the very beginning because if I sort of come up to you, Ian, and say, “Ian, you need mentoring. You need mentoring.” Then immediately that process has gone wrong because that’s not mentoring. Mentoring is when you come to me saying you need help. Mentoring is a personal thing. It’s not something that’s imposed on you by somebody else.

”So the first thing with mentoring, I think, is that the person has got to want to be mentored. They’ve got to want help.”

They’ve got to be humble enough and open enough to say, “I need help. Would you be willing to help me to improve or would you be willing to help me to find the right person who’s going to help me?”

 

So first of all, the mentor, I think, has got to be the type of person who if somebody comes up to you and says, “Would you mind helping me?” That they’re able to say, “Yes, I’ll help. I may not be able to help you straightaway or I might not be able to help you in the ways that you want, but I’m certainly willing to put a bit of time into helping you to find the right person or to help you in the ways that you would like to be helped.” So I think the mentor has got to be — has got to have a personal interest in the person and not in themselves. I think the mentor has got to be willing to listen. I think the mentor has got to be willing to give time because, let’s be honest, a lot of this is not going to be paid for. I don’t think it’s in the culture of a lot of coach education systems either to have a federation paying for mentoring, and I don’t think I should happen anyway because by definition that isn’t mentoring. Or that a lot of cases, I don’t think that coaches are going to start spending money on going to sit and talk with another coach. I just don’t see that happening in a lot of coach education systems. So I think the mentor has probably got to be willing to give that time free.

 

It doesn’t have to be face-to-face although that’s obviously good, but it could be done internationally. There’s no reason why that couldn’t happen. I think the mentor has got to be willing to let the conversation go where the conversation goes so it’s driven by the person who wants the mentoring. If it becomes all about the mentor, then it’s gone wrong. This is got to be about the person wanting help, wanting to discuss things openly, honestly, confidentially perhaps. So that person has got to be a real person that you can trust who is going to invest time emotionally, as much as anything, to thinking about, “Well, how can I help this person? Or let me find some ways in which I can direct the person towards the help that they’re looking for.”

 

So in reality, somebody who is a successful mentor is probably not going to have 100 different coaches they’re mentoring, it just isn’t possible. You’re probably just talking about working closely with one or two, maybe three people. And it becomes a personal relationship where it’s driven by the coach.

 

I mean, I’ll give you an example. I won’t name names, but a guy that I’ve been mentoring now for five years who’s in South Wales, who actually started off on a young coaches program that was instigated by Tennis Wales and he soon broke off that because he realized that he wanted a something a little bit different from what the young coaches program was offering. And he’s one of the few and I’ve said to him, “Look, anytime you want any help or whenever you want to chat or anything, just pick up the phone.” And he’s the only one that does it regularly and it’s always him. It’s never me to pick up the phone to him. You know, sometimes I’ll bump into him or we’ll have a chat and a coffee and, “How’s it going?” But it’s always him who will phone me up, who will drop me an email that says, “Is there any chance we could have a chat tomorrow?” And he’s got to lead that. And to me, true mentoring is when it’s led by the person who wants the help. And me on the other side is a person who is willing to listen and to give that help if it’s asked for.

On success

Ian:

It would be great to just get your favourite success quote and how you’re living that quote.

 

Mark:

”If you want to be a bum, spend time with other bums. If you want to be a successful person, spend time with other successful people.”

And there is so much time wasted, I think, by people spending time with the wrong people or the people who can’t help them, but the problem is as people, we tend to gravitate towards people who are like us and in order to move forward, I think we have to break that mold and move out of that sort of situation and spend time with successful people who might really challenge you and who might actually turn your whole world upside down in many respects, but actually if you’re really willing to be challenged and improve as a coach, then I think it’s really important that you start to understand why other people are successful and what is it that they do that makes them successful and what is it that I need to do to be successful myself?

 

So, to me, the biggest piece of advice is to find somebody who’s successful. It doesn’t even have to be in the same industry. Doesn’t certainly have to be in tennis, although it could be, and spend time with them in whatever way you can. And spending time with them could be like you and I are doing on at the moment online or it could be spending time with somebody who’s actually an author whose reading a book or a website, or a blog or something, or it could be face-to-face. But if you really are intent in improving yourself as a coach and as a person, then find time to be with other people who really value that in their own lives as well.

On technology

Ian:

That’s fantastic. And for any of the listeners out there as well, is there any tools, equipment, technology that you recommend at the moment? That you’re using every day or that you find are essential for coaches?

 

Mark:

Well, one of them is what you and I are doing at the moment. I mean, Skype is invaluable because coaching is a worldwide thing and education as worldwide. You know, Skype it’s not new, but it’s invaluable. There are so many advances in technology now. If you’ve got an iPhone or a smart phone, almost everybody has one, just the ability to be able to take a very short video clip and to be able to give some instant feedback to either a coach who’s running a drill or to the player that you’re working with, I think that’s invaluable. And there’s so much that’s so easy to access these days, things like YouTube and various online learning platforms and stuff like that. I think it’s rather than me recommending one particular thing, I think it’s more just about finding something that works for you. But coaches should get online. There’s a lot of good stuff, there’s a lot of bad stuff online. You can learn a lot about things just interacting with people on social media. So I would urge people to take advantage of the fact that the world is getting smaller and the fact that online there’s so much that you can pick up and start engaging and interacting with people who may be are in a different city or in a different country to you. I think those would be the things.

 

It probably sounds like a bit of a boring answer. I’m not going to talk about things like ball machines and stuff like that. Of course they can add value, but in terms of us all moving forward as coaches, I think it’s about sharing ideas and sharing time with other successful coaches, and that’s so easy to do these days.

On recommended reading

Ian:

That’s great. And maybe this is a bit more old-school, going on to books, but is there a book you’re reading right now that you’d recommend to any of our listeners?

 

Mark:

Well, there’s a book I just finished, actually. I’ve got it just here. It’s by a guy called Mark Hyman, H-Y-M-A-N, and it’s called “Until it Hurts: America’s obsession with youth sports and how it harms our kids.” And it’s basically about how competition has become this big heavy, negative, stressy thing for kids. It’s quite a lighthearted read, but it’s actually — it’s quite hard-hitting because there’s a lot of parent anecdotes, and child anecdotes, and coach anecdotes and it’s well worth the read. It’s only a couple hundred pages but it’s a really good book that sort of lifts the lid on how competition and competitive sport has become a really sort of stressy and damaging environment for a lot of kids. So I’d recommend “Until it Hurts” by Mike Hyman. Mark Hyman, sorry. It’s a good read.

 

 

On whats next…

Ian:

So I guess just as we start to wrap things up, it would be great — you know, obviously it sounds like you’ve had an incredible journey, especially in the last seven or eight years with Inspire 2 Coach, so yeah, it’d be interesting to know what’s next and maybe there’s going to be another chance conversation that leads you down another path?

 

Mark:

Well, who knows? I mean, those chance conversations are all around you and I think that’s another thing for coaches, is to look to make those chance conversations happen. You know, if you put yourself out there, then conversations will happen. If you don’t, then they probably won’t. 2016 from us, from a coach education point of view is all about something called Coach Vision. Coach Vision is an online learning platform that we’ve created and we’re really keen on driving forward next year. We’ve been quite busy this year creating some really good quality coach education and coach training videos which we initially produced as DVDs as a short-term sort of measure whilst we were creating the online learning platform. That’s now gone live, so coaches can access and buy videos on different topics through our online learning platform.

 

Ian:

Oh, great. And what’s the address for that?

 

Mark:

Well, I think it’s probably easiest if people just go straight to our website at www.inspire2coach.co.uk and then under “Coach education” they’ll see the online learning platform there in the menu on the left-hand side. There’s only a small selection of things at the moment but that’s going to grow from January onwards. We’ve got a series coming out on Inspire 2 Coach live in Dublin. That’s not drinking Guinness, but it’s on court with four coach education sessions. We’ve just launched a series on developing the serve at red, orange, and green, so there’s like 2 ½ hours of coach education material there on teaching the serve to 10 and unders. We’ve got some stuff on different types of service, box warm-ups, technical quick fixes, the tents that rally, which is all about getting beginners rallying from the start, from within no time at all. So our job really is to try and reach out to coaches around the world with good quality resources that they can watch and then use almost immediately within their programs and that’s our big project for next year.

Parting advice

Ian:

Perfect, that sounds great. Well, I wish you the best of luck with it all and to wrap things up, if you do have a final parting piece of advice and how we can connect with you, what the best ways are to connect with you, that would be great, and then we’ll say goodbye.

 

Mark:

Well, first of all, I’ve really enjoyed this time. I always love talking with people who are interested in coaching and just sharing ideas. I mean, you’ve made me think about quite a few things about what I need to do on a personal level for next year. I’m always happy to share advice. If anybody wants to get us through our Facebook page, Inspire to Coach Education, or through our website at Inspire2Coach.co.uk.

But my final piece of advice is to find that person who’s going to help you. That person is out there I can’t tell you who it is, but that person is out there. It may not even be somebody in tennis, but find somebody you can just use as a sounding board and just throw some advice out to, or some questions or ideas to, and just get used to talking to others in an open and honest way and just try and take what you can from those relationships.

How to get in touch with Mark

Inspire2Coach Website

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

 

On page ebook 2

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Coachseek Podcast #1 – Allistair McCaw on Success, Mindset & taking your athletes to the next level
Coachseek Podcast

Coachseek Podcast #1 – Allistair McCaw on Success, Mindset & taking your athletes to the next level


Coachseek Podcast

Coachseek Podcast

In our first Podcast – we talk to Allistair McCaw, Allistair is an internationally recognized leader in the field of athlete performance enhancement. His method of training, the McCaw Method, has set the standard for providing world-class athletes and coaches with cutting-edge training techniques and strategies. With over 20 years’ experience, Allistair has worked with multiple Grand Slam champions, Olympians, and world-class athletes in a variety of sports.

 

Coachseek Serena Williams Allistair Mccaw

 

He’s a much sought after speaker who has presented in over 25 countries worldwide. He has appeared on numerous TV shows in the United States sharing his knowledge, expertise, and advice. He was also recently voted as one of the Top 50 Influential Sports Coaches for 2015 by our very own team here at Coachseek, so it’s great to have him here as a guest on our very first Coachseek Podcast and drill into his story some more.

 

Give us a glimpse on what you’re working on right now.

Allistair:     

We’re into December right now so it’s preparation for the preseason for the tennis players going down to Australia and particularly Kevin Anderson who I’ve worked with throughout 2015. So, putting a lot of time and effort into that. And then obviously January there’s going to be a lot of clinics, workshops, and events going on down there. So a lot of preparation from that side and of course I’m going to be speaking at a football conference in London stuck in the middle of December just to get out of the Florida heat for four or five days, so a really busy time. So, very excited about it.

 

Coachseek kevin anderson allistair mccaw

 

Ian:            

So, it’d be great to start with you taking us back to where it all began and how that set you on this incredible journey of now working with so many top, elite athletes.

 

Allistair:

Wow, well, I come from good genetics. My mom was a British athlete, a 400 m runner who was a Commonwealth Games athlete. So I always enjoyed running. I started actually playing tennis at the age of 9 or 10, fell in love with the game and my ambition was to be a professional tennis player one day. I reached a decent level, probably I reached a high of like 12 or 11 in the under 14s and then swapped over to more running triathlon, I went on to race five world championships in my age group. But my first love was always tennis and squash as well. I really enjoyed squash. Actually, you know, I played all sports. You know, in the South African school system, you played cricket and rugby and there’d be days where I’d have four sports to practice at school, so I was really blessed to have that multi-skill, multi-sport upbringing and that’s something that;

“I try to educate parents to have their kids play as many sports as possible and let them just discover what they find the best and what they love the most.”

 

On what ignited your interest to get into coaching.

Allistair:            

I was always a leader from a young age. I always loved captaining the soccer team or the cricket team. I always loved to instruct. So maybe a little bit of that. That started from a young age. And then to supplement my income, I started as a trainer in a gym when I was 18 and that led to personal training and then that led to just sports performance and coaching. You know, I think it started very, very young and it’s something that I’ve just grown to love more and more and it’s such an amazing industry, is that we just wake up every day and we can learn something new.

 

“I think leadership stems from a young age, you know? You’re either a leader or you like to be led, so one or the other.”

 

Ian:                       

Is there a story or a highlight so far in your 20 year career? There must have been a fair few outstanding athletes that you’ve worked with. Talking before this podcast, you’ve worked such a diverse range and level of athletes. Like, is there any particular standout story or highlight that comes to mind?

 

Allistair:            

I mean, there’s so many it would be difficult to pinpoint, but just the diversity of athletes I’ve worked with, I’ve been so blessed. From James Alton, the South African rugby captain the hooker, meeting guys like Sean Fitzpatrick who James had so many great matches against. I had a row off against Sean Fitzpatrick, he enjoyed his rowing. Those were special moments. Working with Graham Smith, the South African cricket captain during his first and second season in professional cricket, that was an incredible experience. Wow, 24 hour Le Mans racing car drivers, PGA golfers, just so many. I’ve just been so lucky to work with such variety of athletes and even in sports such as figure skating and these things that teach us so much. So it’s difficult to pinpoint one particular athlete or time.

 

”Every athlete I’ve worked with has just taught me something new and challenges you to think differently because they all have a different personality, they all have different skill sets, they all have different mindsets.”

 

On success

Coachseek Allistair Mccaw Succes is your daily 1 percents

Ian:                       

I think that’s a good segue into this next part because you’re incredibly well known for your approach and values, and beliefs around mindset, movement, and  building good habits, and putting the athlete before the player. Definitely keen to dig into each of those in more detail, but I’d be keen to just start off this section with what your favourite success quote is, if one comes to mind?

 

”I’d say that your success has to do with your daily one percents.”

 

Allistair:            

What are one percents? You’re one percents are your habits and your routines that you have every day. Those small little things that are maybe not seen by other people but, example, your eating habits, are you stretching every day, your preparation of food for the day, your preparation of your protein drinks that you take on the road while you’re traveling. Yeah, let’s call it your daily preparation, your habits and your routines. That’s what it all comes down to. Yeah, your daily one percents.

 

”The 4-20s”

Allistair:            

For sure. I mean, I have a structure every day. I actually even got a notepad specially made. I designed it, which has been binded so every day I fill-in the priorities for the day. I have three priorities for the day because they say if you have more than three priorities, you don’t have priorities. And then I’ll have a to-do list for the day that needs to be ticked off by the end of the day and then I have what I call my 4 20s and no matter where I am in the world, I believe, and how busy my day might be, I believe that there is no excuse why I can’t achieve these 4 20s.

 

What are these 4 20s? That’s 20 minutes of stretching a day, that’s 20 minutes of thoughtfulness a day. Thoughtfulness includes sending a message to your athletes if they’re competing that day, sending a message to someone that’s maybe ill, sending a birthday message, for example. My third 20 is reading. There’s no excuse why I can’t get at least 20 minutes of reading a day. And my fourth one, which might surprise you, is at least getting a 20 minute nap somewhere in the middle of the day because I believe to maximize a full day, we need to have that break somewhere in the middle of the day just to switch off the brain, recharge the body, and then have a great second half of the day. So those are my 4 20s that I try and achieve every day.

 

Coachseek

 

On daily goals & being a great coach

And then of course I have my goals which are my hydration, how much water I drink a day, and I have my protein requirements as well. So those are the things that I tick off daily that have now become — at the start it was difficult, but have now become a habit and become routine. So that gives you a little insight into what I try and achieve every day.

 

Ian:                       

The majority of our listeners are sports coaches across a variety of sports. I know many of them will be kind of itching to get your opinions and thoughts on what the great traits are of a fantastic coach. Really, given the amount of people you’ve worked with and the industry you’re in yourself, I know many will be curious to know what your opinions are on — as you have as well worked with a number of great coaches as well, what are the traits of a great coach in your opinion?

 

Be the example you want to set

Allistair:            

I think first thing is that the coach is the example because your athletes are going to watch your example more than hear your words. So you’ve got to lay that example first. You know, it’s no good to be preaching something if you’re not practicing it yourself. A great coach has a great energy because we are in the motivation game. We are in the game where we try and help that athlete have as much confidence as possible. So those are important qualities. The athlete needs to know you care, that’s the most important thing. Not just about their game, but about them as people. You know, that gets back to one of my values is that it’s about the person more than the athlete because that’s where success lies in coaching is that you are tapping into the human being, the person not just the athlete. It’s not about the results, it’s about the care. And when you take care of the athlete and they know that you care about them, the results will come. So it’s a lot deeper than that.

 

Allistair McCaw Marathon Coachseek

 

You know, a lot of coaches spend a lot of time on the X’s and the O’s and they go to workshops and clinics just to pick up drills and exercises, and that’s not what it’s about. It’s really about your people skills, getting on with people, communicating well, and really just excelling in that area.

 

Ian:                       

If you had to name a coach as an example of someone who’s living that, who comes to mind?

 

Coachseek

 

Allistair:            

Well, definitely in the tennis world, Nick Bolletieri. He’s got a fantastic energy. Even at 85, he still has more energy than coaches that are in their 20s, for example. Nick lives the example. One of the things I’ve learned from Nick, is that he brings his “A” game every time.

”It doesn’t matter if he’s with a kid of 10 years old on the court, it doesn’t matter if he’s with a player in the top 10, it doesn’t matter if he’s with a lady of 65 who’s just come to have a hit today. He brings his “A” game every time, so that is a great quality of a coach.”

                               

You know, I’ll never forget a story that I heard about the band Twisted Sister. They were chatting to the manager of Twisted Sister and he said, “The one thing that I remember from Twisted Sister is if they were playing in front of 50,000 people or they were playing in front of five people in some little bar somewhere in the middle of nowhere, they brought their ‘A’ game. They performed as if they were performing in front of the biggest crowd ever.” And that something that stuck out for me: is bring your “A” game every time, not just sometimes.

 

So definitely, to get back to your question, Nick lives that example. Maria Sharapova’s coach, Sven Groeneveld, has a great energy, is a fantastic coach, great with people. So those are two coaches that stand out for me, but there’s so many. It wouldn’t be fair just to name those two.

 

On developing a powerful mindset

Ian:                       

Yeah, and moving on to mindset because I know that’s a huge focus for performing at any level as an athlete. How does being a great coach translate to helping develop a mentally tough athlete?

 

Allistair:            

Again, it comes back to the first thing we spoke about with the qualities of a great coach. Be the example;

 

”If you’re preaching to your athletes to eat right and then you’re munching on McDonald’s or whatever it may be, that’s not going to develop the right example and discipline.”

 

Time management is about discipline. Routines, structure, the way you do your warm-up, the way — at the end of the day, it all matters. Not just sometimes, but it all matters. So, athlete coaches hold a huge, huge responsibility with regards to discipline and mindset. Our players look to us for the example and we should be able to help them and give them the tools to develop the right mindset, how to think properly, provide sources for them to help them. For example, reading good books, or even for example;

 

”What I’ll do sometimes is I’ll read a quote from a John Wooden or Vince Lombardi, or Graham Henry for example, to players before the start of the session just to feel them up and give them some food for thought.”

 

 

Graham Henry quotes

                               

Don’t underestimate those quotes maybe just once in awhile to your players and so on, you know? Because sometimes players have come back to me and said, “I remember you wrote a quote on your page or you said it at practice once and that really stuck with me.” So we can help in so many ways with the mindset.

 

Ian:                       

And you touched on it slightly there, but is there any recommended reading around mindset that you would — if any of the coaches listening and you had to recommend one, if there’s one book you’re going to read to develop your knowledge and mindset, what would it be?

 

Allistair:            

For the athlete, a great book is Mind Gym. Another great book is The Champion’s Mind. There’s so many good autobiographies out there as well that you can read. Of course, Andre Agassi’s book is great. You know, look to other sports. If I can say to athletes, don’t just look to athletes in your own sport, open your world. You know, it doesn’t matter even if you don’t enjoy the sport because at the end of the day it comes back to the mindset. It’s the way you think, the way you act, the way you control yourself under pressure and stress. That is what it all comes down to. So how do the great athletes do it? How did they do it? How did the Michael Jordans do it? How did the Ritchie McCaws of the world do it? How do they absorb that pressure to get the best out of themselves?

                               

”You know, autobiographies are a great source of mindset.”

 

Because I understand that not everybody is super excited to pick up a book and some of the mindset books get really deep as well and it all starts to become the same type of thing. So I really suggest autobiographies and not just of athletes in your sport.

 

Ian:                       

Obviously you would be considered a movement specialists particularly in racquet sports. Like, you put a huge emphasis on putting the athlete before the player. Obviously, many, many coaches will be advocates and raving fans of this approach, but for anyone who’s may be new to that phrase, can you shed some light on what it means to put the athlete before the player?

 

Allistair:            

Basically, putting the athlete before the player is the more skill a player has, the more motor skills, the better their agility, the better their coordination, their balance, all these things, the more you can do that player later. So it all starts at a very, very young age and this is why it’s so important, for example, from the age of 6, 8, until 13, that they are exposed to a variety of sports.

 

”I always say at least three sports and one or two of those should be a team sport and the other ones should be an individual sport. So they’re developing two skillsets there.”

They’re developing one of responsibility and being alone out there in their own thoughts, and they’re also developing a team environment mindset as well. So they’re developing more skills than one. So it’s important that they develop a lot of skills.

 

One common factor I’ve seen in all the professional athletes I’ve worked with, be it tennis, squash, rugby, cricket, soccer, basketball, whatever it may be, is they all played multi-sports when they were younger. You know, for example, you give Ramy Ashour, the world champion last year in squash, who I worked with, you give him a soccer ball, for example, he’s got amazing skills with soccer balls. Xavier Malisse or Bernard Tomic are brilliant with a basketball. You know, I’ve got videos of these guys just playing at a really, really high level and I sometimes show them at the workshops. You know, that’s the quality right there, is that they can do a multitude of things. So that’s important.

 

”One common factor I’ve seen in all the professional athletes I’ve worked with is they all played multi-sports when they were younger.”

 

Ian:                       

Would you pick out any sports that you’ve seen as commonalities over the years in terms of having a diverse range of sports as a youngster? Is there any sports you’ve seen that a number of top, especially racquet sports players have come from? What’s been the main variety of sports at those guys have worked with?

 

Allistair:            

A lot of them can play soccer well, a lot of them can play basketball well. So, for an example, we’ve got two sports there where you’re developing — one is more predominantly feet skills, lower body coordination, and the other one is hand skills. So you’re developing two side of the body there and combining it together with great agility. So those are probably two common sports that a lot of good athletes have worked with do well, for example. And those are two sports I recommend to develop those two sides of the body very, very well. You know, left hand, right hand, they develop both of those because today’s quality athlete is pretty strong on both sides. You will not get away in today’s world of sports just only being strong with one side. You could’ve maybe got away with it 20 years ago, but this is again getting back to the question of developing the athlete.

 

”The athlete is not just a one-dimensional structure or system, it’s multi-talented and multi-skilled.”

 

On getting your athletes to the next level

 

Allistair McCaw Speaking Coachseek

 

Ian:                       

And you must get asked this a lot during your workshops, but again, I think there’s a lot of people that would be quite curious to know because I find many coaches that we speak with here at Coachseek are looking for that silver bullet, whatever it is for them to improve as a coach or to get their athletes to the next level. How do you react to that is a commonly asked question when people come up to you?

 

”I can’t push an athlete, I don’t push athletes. You either want it or you don’t. I motivate athletes, I will provide them the tools, but I never push an athlete.”

 

Allistair:

That has to come from the athlete themselves. You know, you can teach athletic skills, you can teach game skills, you can teach technical skills, but you can’t teach heart and that comes from the athlete. So if a parent comes to me and says, “Make my kid a champion.” I say, “No. I’ve got no chance of making your kid a champion. Your kid will decide what his destiny is and what his future is going to be. I can provide the tools, I can provide the motivation, I can provide the structure.”

 

Another area is where a coach comes to me and says, “Okay, kill them, push them hard.” And I’ll say, “Hold on a second, I think we need to have a talk. That’s not how I work. It all comes down to, again, the structure, the level of the athlete and if the athlete wants it or not.” And here’s another thing:

 

”We need to understand that not every kid that plays sports wants to be a champion or want to be a professional athlete,”

 

Or wants to hold the World Cup one day. A lot of kids just want to have fun and learn a sport and meet new friends and that, as coaches, we need to understand. Not everybody wants to be a champion athlete, that’s reality.

                               

”We need to understand that our job as coaches is to make champion people first.”

 

That is, for me, the most important thing: is knowing that someone is going on to have a great career or have a successful life with a great family and great relationship and so on. That’s really rewarding for me and I’m starting to get into the age now where I’m starting to see that. I’ve been in the game for 21 years and have seen athletes that have had a career already, that just shows you my age, and then now they’re doing well in their after-career, and for me that’s rewarding and not just that thing where the athlete finishes their career and they go, “Okay, now what? How do I do something because I always had someone doing it for me?” You know, so that’s the most important thing.

Coachseek Allistair McCaw 20 things

On the McCaw Method

Ian:                       

You’ve obviously got a huge following, you’ve got a great online presence especially across YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook and it’s fair to say you’re hugely active on those platforms. So given everything else you’ve got, all the other commitments you make to your athletes and yourself, how do you keep on top of all that with all the inspiring messages, the quotes, the updates, and so on.

 

Allistair McCaw Method Coachseek

 

Allistair:            

It’s my passion. I’m a life learner so I’m constantly learning, I’m constantly changing my mind. And that’s not because I’m indecisive, that’s because I’ll learn something new that probably changes my mind about something. So for me, I actually have to hold myself back then putting too many tweets or too many posts on my Facebook page or whatever it may be. I just love it and I love sharing, I love the feedback. I’ve met so many different people and also just getting their views. But it just comes down to my passion. I love doing it and I’ve actually got to sometimes hold myself back from doing too much with it. So I think that’s what it comes down to: when you love something, you just do it without even thinking about it.

Ian:                       

And what’s the next goals for McCaw method heading into 2016?

 

”Make better people.”

 

Allistair:

I think, really, the more and more I get into it, that’s the most important thing for me and that’s making better people through sport and working with athletes, working with families. You know, nothing is better for me to see a family that was maybe a little bit dysfunctional or too unbalanced with regards to sport in the family and competing every weekend and the rankings, and so on and so forth, to see a balance coming and a tranquility coming to the household where they start to enjoy it more and understand the journey better instead of the trophies, the medals, the wins, the losses, which we’ve seen through the years of some professional athletes where families have been broken up because of the pressures and because of the stress. So I think that’s one of my main goals that I keep working towards, just getting better myself so I can make those around me better. I think that’s definitely one of the goals for me next year and which has been this year as well. The better I can get the better I can make the people around me. So, I’d say those are the two most important goals.

 

On Technology

Allistair:            

You know what, I’m going to say I’m quite an old school guy. I’m probably the last guy that hears about apps and coaching systems and technology and so on and so forth. All I can say is just keep educating yourself, keep investing in yourself, invest in your health, read every day. Just be thirsty for knowledge and I know it’s very, very cliché or maybe very boring, but that’s what I keep doing. You know, when I run I’ll listen to podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to educate yourself, and again, not just podcasts that are in your field, listen to people from other industries, the business sector, the entertainment sector, not just the sport sector. You know, keep educating yourself.

                               

”I have this thing called “Learun” and it’s a bit of a wordplay of running and learning.”

 

learun coachseek allistair Mccaw

 

So when I run, I listen to a podcast so I get the benefit of two things: of getting fit and getting smarter. And again, that’s another way of killing two birds with one stone. So if I can give that advice to coaches, it’s really just invest in good podcasts, invest in books. I order two books a month and I’m on to actually my 23rd book now in December. So I’d probably say another goal for me next year is actually to go to three books a month and increase that area. I love reading books. I just get addicted to it.

 

Ian:                       

I’m sure our listeners will be curious to know what you’re reading at the moment?

 

Allistair:            

What am I reading at the moment? Whoa, you know, I actually have three books that I, like, go through. I’m reading a great book called iY Generation” by Tim Elmore, which is looking at the generation born after 1994 and how we can connect better with them because that’s the future of coaching: is how do we connect with these ever-changing generations because of the technology world and how they learn. That’s one of the books I’m reading at the moment. What other book am my reading at the moment? I’m reading one of Coach Wooden books. I think I’ve got every Coach Wooden book there is and I just discovered that I ordered two more coach books — Coach Wooden books that I already have. I’m actually reading Michael Schumacher’s book, which you know, I always admired Michael Schumacher, his attention to detail, the small details. Another guy of great routines, great habits, great discipline. So those are the three books I’m actually reading at the moment.

 

Ian:

What would be a couple of the podcasts that’s always on your playlist?

 

Allistair:            

Strength Coach podcast which is more of a strength and conditioning podcast. Tim Ferriss, of course. Rich Roll, which is an ultra athlete who is a plant-based vegan. I’m not a vegan myself, but it’s really just interesting to hear those perspectives. He always has some great guests on there. What other podcasts do I listen to? Some of the basketball podcasts. Some fantastic coaches in basketball and I’m soon going to be adding your podcast to my selection as well, so I look forward to that.

 

Ian:                       

That’s what we want to hear, fantastic. So as we start to wrap things up, I’ve left an interesting question before any parting words of advice. I know, again, having been a former coach myself, the role of the parent in that relationship you touched on a little bit earlier, but as a final — some final words of advice on that side of things, how would you advise a coach effectively manages that relationship between the parent?

 

Words of advice

Allistair:            

Understand where the parent is coming from. Don’t just see it from your side. And understand that the crazy parents are the ones that actually care the most and those, majority of the times, become your best clients and your best parents. They deserve to understand what’s going on, they deserve to have frequent communication, they deserve to understand your methods and your vision as well. I think a lot of the times coaches don’t communicate well enough. You know, five minutes between lessons is not communicating. Athletes — or should I say, coaches, need to structure set times, and set meetings with the parents. I always have at least a 20 minute meeting with a parent once a month be it on the last Friday of the month or whatever it may be just to sit down, I can hear their views and they can hear mine, for example. So there’s good, clear communication.

 

Like I said, yes, there is those crazy parents, of course. There’s crazy people all over the world, that’s life. But a big responsibility lies on the coaches to communicate better and know that the crazy parents, if I can say, are actually the ones that care the most and those can become your best clients and best parents.

 

”Each day develop your routines, good habits and set good standards. Have a great energy and keep learning.”

                               

How to connect with Allistair

Connect with Allistair McCaw at his website The McCaw Method

 

Check out his Facebook page The McCaw Method

 

Follow his Twitter handle @AllistairMcCaw

 

Fick him an Email at [email protected]

 

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