Post ID: 644

url (3)I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful weekend! As most of you know, I am coaching an after school cross country program for Hillview Middle School. One of the things I love about working with kids, I always learn so much from them. Life’s lessons come in all forms, but with kids, you are sure to learn many if you pay attention. The interesting thing about coaching these kids, they love to share with me what their other coaches do and do not do. I am learning a lot about the different styles of different coaches. 😉 At this point, three weeks into this program, these kids have far exceeded my expectations for them and the program, and I am learning so much.

So here are my life lessons, many of which I already knew, but running this program has reinforced or slightly changed my perspective.
  1. Have a vision for what you want to accomplish and clear goals. I cannot state this enough. When I was executive coaching at Ernst and Young, this was a given, but this is a task that can help you in anything you want to accomplish.
  2. Listen listen listen. Sure, these kids sometimes complain or think the workout is too long or hard, but I always listen and really try to work with them. If they have aches and pains, I bring out my therapy tools, let them work out the aches and then they get right back to running. I also have discovered reasons for the aches and pains and email their parents to get them new shoes, or heel cups, or whatever they may need. What I don’t do is discount their concerns.
  3. Treat people like you really like them. I don’t mean this in a fake or insincere way, I mean in a genuine way that is authentic to your personality, OK, I know some of my small group clients are rolling their eyes right now, but I try to live by this one and it has paid off with these kids. I try to treat every one of them like I really like them and it is not a stretch, they are super likable! Sure, I could have labeled the trouble makers the first week, gotten irritated at some of the snarky comments, or even stereotyped some as high maintenance, but instead, I approach them with the attitude that they are all worthy of being heard and treated with respect, I give them limits and options and let them own what they do from there. It has paid off. I adore this group of kids – all 25 of them! And really, none of them are trouble makers, snarky, or high maintenance – I just think kids’ behavior is often misunderstood.
  4. Keep your energy positive as best you can. This one can be tough, because some days the energy well is just quite frankly, dry. But what I have found is if you can catch the dry well before it is too late, you have the power within yourself to refill. Try deep breathing, taking a walk, reflecting on the things for which you are grateful, playing your favorite tunes – these are all great ways to turn you day from going downhill to going up in a matter of minutes.
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. This kind of goes with number 1 – if you have a a clear vision or a good “big picture” idea of what is important to you, you can let the small stuff roll off. Don’t get so caught up in the trees that you miss the beauty of the forest.
  6. If you are not getting the response you are looking for, try a different approach. This is especially true with teenagers. One thing that often works really well is just being present in the moment. Sometimes I just ask, “it seems like everyone is having a difficult time listening, what is going on?” “I noticed that you seemed really bored when I was talking about xxx, could I have made that more interesting for you?” Sometimes, just noticing what is happening with someone else is all they need to respond differently next time. It shows them that you were paying attention!

My goal for this blog has always been to send out little nuggets of food for thought, to plant a seed or offer up some idea that might resonate with some of you in a way that would make a difference long term. Thank you to those of you who give me feedback, it really helps me to know whether or not I am accomplishing my goal.


We have a full week of classes this week. Don’t forget to sign up at