Want to Succeed? Get Yourself a Coach

As a part of their daily summertime routines, I have my boys doing schoolwork. Now, before you go thinking that today’s Sunday Success is about education, hang on, that’s just the intro. The switch comes in a moment.

We have the Standard Canadian Curriculum workbooks for their grade years and they have to give me two lessons each day. Not being a total jerk, I don’t have them working on next year’s grade, just reviewing last year’s.

Last week my middle boy ran into a little problem with his math lessons, and it was causing him a great deal of distress. He’s an A student, particularly so in science and math, and when he was having trouble, he really got down on himself. He told me he just has, “A small brain.”

Everyone needs a coach.

Well, after first reassuring him that he does not, in any way, have a small brain, and after telling him about a few times when ol’ Daddy the engineer had problem with math, wasn’t that a great opportunity for me to try imparting one of life’s great lessons, namely that everyone needs a coach.

He loves hockey, and I asked him, “Who is the best hockey player in the world?”

“Sydney Crosby.”

“Well, you know, he has a coach.”


“Sydney Crosby has a coach, Mike Sullivan.”

After that, I went on to talk about how every NHL player, the 700 best hockey players in the world, all have not just “a” coach, but multiple coaches. Then we discussed:

  • The 70s Montreal Canadiens’ dynasty under Scotty Bowman
  • Tiger Woods when he was the best golfer on the planet
  • Pete Sampras when he dominated men’s tennis
  • And a whole bunch more.

What did they all have in common? They all had coaching.

What I wanted to impress upon him, and upon you, is that all the talent in the world gets you nowhere without proper coaching. Just because he was having a little trouble with math didn’t make him small brained, it made him human.

So it is with you.

If you want to succeed at anything, you must have a modicum of skill, a lot of determination, put in a great deal of work and you must have coaching. Teaching. Mentoring. Call it what you will, but you must have some form of guidance, because you’re not going to make it solely on your own.

So find yourself a good coach, and listen to him.