One of the messages I strive to get through to all my players is that they need to learn to be their own Inner Coach. What exactly do I mean? What I am referring to is that they should rely on internal inspiration as opposed to external motivation.
Why? Because external motivation is transient. What happens when that mentor or friend isn’t available to encourage or push you? Or they no longer provide the necessary motivation for you to complete your task? Or maybe your external motivation is reward-based. You work hard only to achieve your end-goal of money, a new car, ice cream, etc.
This may seem like a better idea as it is positive reinforcement, right? No! This again goes back to my original point that these items are all temporal. You can easily lose money, your car will lose value, and ice cream melts. Then your desire and motivation go away.
Now let’s talk about internal inspiration. I intentionally use a different word to describe “motivation” that comes from inside.
Why? Because it’s different than simple motivation, it is a transformation. A transformation is a metamorphosis, meaning you are no longer the same person. You may physically look the same (you didn’t change into a butterfly), but your mental state is completely new. The qualities of someone who can be classified as their own Inner Coach consist of confidence, poise, courage, love, passion, and the list goes on.
I don’t know about you, but these are qualities I want to instill in my children, whether they play basketball or not. Kids who master becoming their Inner Coach at a young age are much more equipped to deal with adversity later in life. They are better collaborators, more likely to be successful in their endeavors, and most importantly, more likely to achieve a state of joy in their lives. Why? Because they are not worried about what other people think or what society says they “should” be doing. On the contrary, they are tapped into their Inner Coach, are willing to listen to themselves, and are willing to take risks because they know they are listening to the one person who will always steer them to the path of joy…themselves.
People who listen to their Inner Coach are the ones who see setbacks as setups for something better. They understand how to embrace adversity and move through it. The great thing about developing your own Inner Coach is that it’s a journey, not a destination. Whether it takes you a week or 45 years to tap into your Inner Coach, the important part is that you take the first step. So, take my hand and let’s walk together…