The word ‘Support’ has been used a lot recently, not just by myself, but by politicians, campaigners, countries that declare states of emergency, families who have lost loved ones.
So what does the word ‘Support’ mean to you?
I support athletes by providing ‘Mental Performance Coaching’ and ‘Run coaching services’. I also have a family to support and am there for friends who need advice or a shoulder to cry on.
I’m also a ‘supported’ athlete, I’m extremely fortunate that companies provide me with kit, trainers, nutrition, coffee, shoe laces etc etc as they support me on my journey to stay at the top of the Uk and World rankings in my chosen events.
There are a few definitions of the word support but one stood out for me.
• support verb [T] (ENCOURAGE)
"to agree with and give encouragement to someone or something because you want him, her, or it to succeed"
The reason it stood out is because of the word ‘Agree’. I’m all for the encouragement bit, however, do you have to agree? Sometimes there is a process to follow and the athlete/coach may not always agree with it at the time, but when they have seen the process through, the results usually come.
Surely it is better to challenge people, not just physically but also mentally as they chase their goal or dream?. There may be fundamental reasons why people don't agree, maybe you have challenged their values and beliefs, and this will get an extremely blunt response to the challenge, however by supporting and encouraging you can help people to understand, but not necessarily agree.
I often hear athletes say “I’m in a good place mentally now” when they see signs of progress, they go off and see limited success, they then come back as they realise without support they hit other barriers and this is due to not following the process through to the end.
A lot of this comes down to ‘Honesty’. As an athlete or coach you have to be completely honest, especially when doing any kind mental performance work as it will always come and bite you later on if you aren't honest, not just with yourself but with those around you.
Being supported brings out the best in you, surrounding yourself with the right people encourages a much better environment to work and perform in. Being supported also gives accountability, to yourself and the team around you and this is extremely important on the journey to success.
If we can ‘Support’ you to be the best you can be, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Andrew Cohen-Wray
"Support" is a term you hear a lot these days, in coaching and in life... but what does it mean to you?
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