I have spent a good part of my career studying successful people, in all walks of life. One thing that these successful people have in common is they all have coaches. Pitching coaches, life coaches, music coaches, business coaches, academic coaches, etc.

Nobody can do it on their own. A coach can see things the player/client/student cannot.

Learn from your coach’s experience.

And when your coach isn’t around, coach yourself. Pick yourself up instead of beating yourself down.

“You can do this!” is better than “That was a stupid thing to do!”

Fire that negative coach in your head.


Recently, I was teaching on a court next to another instructor. All of a sudden I heard, “Watch this…” as the teacher stood with three tennis balls in his hand. The ball cart was on one side of the net and the he was on the other side, pretty far away. He threw the first tennis ball high and far…and missed. Then he threw another, high and far…and missed, all while his students watched. The final ball, he threw and actually made it. Everyone on his court celebrated.

Pretty cool, right?


We lead by example. Our students respect us. They want to use the same racquet that we use. They want to wear the same clothes that we wear. They may even start to walk like us.

When we (coaches, teachers, parents, managers) throw balls when we should be picking up, we are conditioning our students (employees, children) to do the same.

Sure enough, the next time his class was picking up balls, two of the four students attempted to throw balls into the ball cart.

Do you know what the instructor said?

“COME ON guys…you should be picking up.”