Be a Great Coach & Leader: Inspire Your Team with the “Why”

There are all kinds of coaches.  Some are CEO’s, some are Presidents of the United States, some are coaching the U12 soccer team down the road.  Some are good, some aren’t so hot, and a few are great.  Simon Hartley spoke of the “reasons” an athlete is training in the pool at 5am each morning in his recent piece in Podium on Motivation. This piece led to a comment from a reader, Rob Griffiths, associated with Joe Friel’s Training Bible organization. Rob recommended we check out Simon Sinek’s talk on TED TV, because Sinek had uncovered a key to greatness, a key that ties together the likes of Apple Computers, the Wright Brothers invention of manned flight, and Martin Luther King.  Sinek calls this observation in the way these people and organizations think, act and communicate – the Golden Circle.  Thank Rob for this recommendation.  Once you see this, you will understand too.


As a coach, you are a communicator – and – you set the agenda, the focus, the training regimen, and the spirit within which every aspect of your team is structured around.  Your assistant coaches are your most important collaborators – are they in step with you?  Your team captains set the example for every team member – do they believe in the mission?  Are these intentions – are the “whys” in place – so that everyone operates in synch to develop the best product you can collectively create?  The beauty of sports is that the performance is more than the sum of all the talent – and when the entire team is in synch – magic happens.  An example of just one tactic you can use as a coach is through clarifying your sense of  purpose for every drill, every practice session, every communication with your team.  “P3 Thinking” is contagious and it helps build the alignment amongst every player and coach every time it is used.

Simon Sinek’s synopsis on why some are okay, some are good, and some are life altering in the most positive way imaginable is clearly illuminating.  It’s the “Why” that counts…and Sinek’s analysis is brilliant.  I, for one, will no longer be content with the “how” and the “what” – because in reality – its the “why” that builds followership and encourages others to align with the purpose and cause.

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