Are You More Coachable Than A Five-Year-Old?

teeballThe adventure of fatherhood is proving to be ripe with life lessons I never knew I needed to learn.  We’re currently learning the game of tee ball in our household.  As I watch my son Zack hit and field the ball, I couldn’t be prouder.

I have, however, observed an interesting phenomenon over the last couple months.  When we are at practice, Zack will allow his head coach to teach him how to hit the ball properly.  When we are at home and I try to coach Zack, it turns into a complete meltdown, and effectively marks the end of practice.  After repeating this cycle a few times, I have found it to be one of the more frustrating parenting experiences.

As a coach, I have no doubt that my son needs to be coached and I am confident I could improve his ability to play baseball.  The problem is that he clearly hasn’t given me the permission to coach him.

This really isn’t far off from how some adults respond to coaching is it?  How often has your day been derailed because someone tried to coach you?  I’m certainly guilty of shutting down for the day and stewing over the audacity of someone to think that I need to be coached.

Guess what?  If we are going to be the very best that we can be and subscribed to this philosophy of continuous improvement, the ability to be coached is critical.  At the core of being coachable is the humility to admit:

  • I am not perfect.
  • I have much to learn.
  • I have blind spots that may require others to point out.
  • I can learn from a variety of people.

Being coached is never easy.  You may ask, “who should I allow to coach me?”  While I don’t profess to be the expert in discerning who to give permission to coach me, I can point to times in my life where I wish I had more readily listened to the advice of another.  Catch me at the right moment and my inner five-year-old may just pay you a visit.  As I attempt to coach my children, I am convinced that everyone must learn to be coachable or risk stunted growth in multiple facets of their lives.


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