MYTH 1: As a person grows older, they must change by suppressing childish traits and ambitions.
Marcus argues, a person’s core strengths as a child will still be core strengths as an adult. If a young boy is competitive and seeks order, these traits will still fire off when he is an adult. It is important to channel these traits so that he can maximize his strengths.
MYTH 2: People should grow and learn the most in the areas they are weakest.
Marcus believes that this is counter-productive and limits potential. He doesn’t imply people should ignore their weaknesses, he simply states that strengths are where people should focus most of their time on. These are the areas in life that will most motivate, bring the highest quality of work, and ultimately make people happiest.
Personally, I feel that I am working in my strengths when I am on the field coaching, creating lesson plans, giving praise and motivating players, public speaking, and sharing my coaching methods with colleagues. My personal relationship with players and motivation to teach tactical concepts brings me immense joy. Two hour practices fly by and I am often sad when they are over due to the positive energy and enthusiasm within each session. Sharing ideas with my colleagues is another time I am playing to my strengths. Collaboration sparks creativity and allows for any doubts or concerns to be openly discussed.
Areas I am working outside my strengths include confronting colleagues about areas of improvement, delivering negative news to players and parents, critiquing players, and sales for my camps outside of my personal network.
I really enjoy collaboration with colleagues, but I do not enjoy having to critique them. I believe I must improve in this aspect because if I care about their personal and professional growth, it is my responsibility to help them grow. I also feel very uncomfortable delivering negative news to players and parents. It is never easy to tell a player or parent that they did not make the team. Due to personal relationships you cultivate with players and families, this is a difficult aspect of the job. That being said, it is necessary and the change in team is always in the player’s best developmental interest. In regards to player critique, John Wooden famously stated, "A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment." Players make a lot of mistakes, which is part of learning. I am very open to players making mistakes and they are actually encouraged to do so in my learning environment. However, when discussing these mistakes with individual players, I feel I can greatly improve on delivering a message that makes them feel more comfortable with the critique. Lastly, I am definitely outside my strengths when promoting my business to people outside of my personal network. I would be the worst door-to-door salesman.
I enjoyed the video but disagree to an extent with the message that most of a person’s time should be exclusively dedicated to their strengths. If this were the case, a player capable of juggling 2000 times in a row but unable to strike a left footed shot would have no reason to focus more of their time on the left footed shot. I firmly believe that we must maximize our strengths, yet be 100 percent aware of our weaknesses so that we can spend dedicated time improving on those aspects. I feel that I am a good coach but in order to become a great coach, I will have to tackle the stated weaknesses (and plenty more) head on so that I can inch closer to becoming a complete coach.
Thank you for reading.