Staying a Maverick – seeing the straight and narrow for what it is!

February 14, 2011 Post Comment Uncategorised

I was talking to a parent of one of the lads I coach recently, and the conversation eventually came around to how I see things as a coach, the paths I encourage the players to pursue, and how I like to coach from a neurological perspective. As he looked rather quizzical I qualified my approach accordingly:-

In all my working areas – Technical Sports Coaching, Performance Coaching, Life and Business Coaching, Therapy for Change, even Caring for my parents in their old age – I take elements from each one of the others and use them to make things work better in the one I’m working in.

Because I coach performance, where the balance between technical, tactical, psychological and emotional needs to be in harmony Right Now, I think probably this discipline is at the hub of my working areas.

When I started out, I used to think Performance was all about doing, and bringing resources to bear to enable that – however now I view this differently.
I now know that Performance IS about being – being in balance, in harmony, at ease, at wellness in everything we do.

And its probably fair to say that once I’d ‘twigged’ this rather simple point, then I began to step off the straight and narrow of technical sports coaching, of life and business coaching, of therapeutic and changework paradigms, and onto the paths less trodden, the strange but exciting ‘less-than-half-worlds’ of crossover.

The gentleman I was speaking to, it turned out, was an Occupational Therapist – and the more I explained my approach to coaching sport in particular, the more he became enthused about how things were happening for his son.
He also talked about confidence and how important this approach is not only for young people, but also for the people he sees in his profession. Now, as an OT he certainly wouldn’t see me as a ‘maverick’ cricket coach – only other cricket coaches see me as that.
This is where the ‘maverick’ distinction starts to emerge – within any of the disciplines I work at there is middle of the road, and there is off the beaten track. And the judgement as to which ‘road’ I occupy (or should occupy) comes from fellow coaches, or fellow therapists, rather than clients or people from other disciplines.

Given that my only purpose in all I do is to make a difference for people so they can run their lives better, there is a need to for these differences to be effective and timely. After all, life is finite! So I go with what works, avoid what doesn’t work, keep looking for new stuff that works, and put everything in one big melting pot! I use bits of this technique, mixed with that strategy, and apply it in another way. Because every client is different, then every approach should be flexible – to my mind.

SO – what is ‘maverick’? – Dictionary definitions seems to hover around “independent in behaviour or thought”. However, even this is quite bland as it stands.

I recently visited my osteopath and while he was ‘cracking my bones’ we had a chat about where our professions meet and crossover. I mentioned the ‘maverick’ in me, and also how I’m drawn towards those in the therapeutic, changework and influence worlds who are pushing back the boundaries for tranformative thinking. His comment was profound: “Thank goodness for the mavericks,” he said. “Without them much of what we take for granted now in the world would not have happened or have been developed. Take away the mavericks and we would stand still.”