Teamwork Series: Do What the Coach Says

“Johnson, don’t think! Just do what I tell you!”

I tell my friend this as I train him for his second half marathon. He was so bad in the first one, that I begged him to let me train him for the second one. He agreed! Now I hear myself saying things that my high school track coach used to say to me.

“Dooley, other people clear the hurdles because they do what I say. Don’t think. Just do what I say!”

I used to think about acceleration, momentum, speed, friction, trajectory, velocity, gravity, bustin’ my chin…but my coach was right. When I managed to empty my head long enough to do what he prescribed, I discovered I was capable of some remarkable feats. I began to trust him.

I would tell my friend to drink a gallon of water a day and he would tell me that it was not necessary. He didn’t understand all of the reasons for drinking a gallon a day. He couldn’t see how “excessive consumption” of water would help him run longer and faster.  Fortunately, he trusts me.

It took me until my senior year in high school to understand what coach was talking about all those years.  I only wish I had listened more. I learned to trust him.

My friend is running a 10K this weekend in preparation for his half marathon. He’s never run so far and so fast…ever (He walked most of his first marathon). He’s starting to understand now.

What’s my point?

Effective coaches have to be trusted. Often they can help you to perform better even though you don’t understand their methods. Think Mr. Miyagi!


Coaches, managers, bosses, this means you must earn, build, and sustain trust, but that’s another post.



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