The transcript of Episode 13 — “Dan Mickle reveals his secrets to beating your blindspot”
Justin Petersen 0:00
Welcome to new season of the coach cast a show where we’re always investigating new ways and methods around the skills of coaching, busting myths and exploring opinions on the craft of highly trained coaches, experts and top class achievers from all around the world. Plus, we’re not afraid to look at other areas coaching, and we’re always curious. Now in this episode, we’re looking at coaching the blind spots and be asking our guests Dan Mickle, to explore this with us. Dan runs the Soul Performance Academy is a top sports psychologist, and a fellow podcaster from Pennsylvania in America. Dan, welcome to the show.
Dan Mickle 0:36
Thanks, Justin. It’s great to be here.
Justin Petersen 0:38
And also Darren from ODL coaching is back for a second season as my co host, and helps us open our eyes to what we could be missing with Dan, welcome back to season two Darren Hope you’re feeling ready for another season of fun, frolics, and of course, Coach talk.
Darren Odell 0:53
I certainly am. Justin. It’s really great to be here. Yeah. Looking forward to season two. Certainly.
Justin Petersen 0:58
Well, let’s get straight into it. We know it’s coaching the blind spot, but what is coaching the blind spot? Dan, can you sort of summarize what coaching a blind spot is?
Dan Mickle 1:08
Yeah, really, it comes down to coaches, whether we’re looking in the corporate world or in the sport world, we tend to put blinders on at some point, we start to have bring our biases into the coaching world. And while we may be trying to help clients and work with clients, we sometimes end up ignoring their actual needs, because we’re looking sort of how we’re looking at it, we’re not looking at it from the client’s point of view, as much as we’re looking at from our point of view. So we need to kind of step back and look at am I really trying to help the client? Or am I really trying to help the client through my lens and and change that view and how we work with things
Darren Odell 1:44
Put quite simply, it’s something that other people can often see in you is things that people are picking up, it’s things that people are reacting to, whether consciously or unconsciously, quite often, it can be so so obvious in the moment, but it takes other people and quite often coaches to to really give people the insight into this and to be able to shine that flashlight where people go, Oh, yeah, I see it now.
Justin Petersen 2:10
So this sounds like to me a really interesting conversation. So I’ll let Dan and Darren jump into it. I’ll let you guys take it away.
Darren Odell 2:19
What I’m really interested to learn a lot from you today, Dan is your life coach. But you’re also very involved in the in the world of sports. And I want to look at how blind spots kind of occurred maybe in what we see in life coaching more generally, but also how that overlap creeps in maybe from a sporting context. So I’d be really interested to hear from you on a more sort of sports level about blind spots and how they creep in and how you work with it.
Dan Mickle 2:46
Yeah, I think the biggest way that they creep in and how they start is a word that’s kind of tough for me is tradition, we we have coming up from the youth sporting world, and you know, the little kids coming up through and they don’t know any better. They don’t know how to question anything yet. So they’re just kind of going along with what they’re being coached and what they’re being caught, taught. And while they end up becoming a more mature athlete, and a better, you know, a better athlete at a higher level. They don’t know what they’re missing. And it’s because of tradition. They’re taught and coached the way that their coach was taught and coached. And that cycle kind of never breaks. So we don’t see growth as much as we could. That’s not necessarily bad. Some, some coaches have great policies and processes. But there’s times that we need to step out of that bubble. And as an athlete, it’s really hard to step out of that bubble, because that means we’re going to be uncomfortable. And in general psychology, let alone in athletic psychology, we don’t like being uncomfortable at all, we like being in our comfort zone, and looking in the blind spot makes us uncomfortable. And as a coach, we also have to take out of our comfort zone, you know, we can get really comfortable in what we do. And it becomes an issue where we’re just not really looking at this from an objective standpoint, we’re just looking at it from how we’ve always done it. And we just continue there’s those blind spots, and maybe we don’t grow as much as we should. So really, what you’re saying is we can actually learn a lot from from the world of sports, because I’m hearing a lot about sort of tradition, things that we you know, that’s the way we’ve always done it. So we’re reluctant to kind of try something new. There’s may be self talk involved and those negative sort of connotations of you know, the negative beliefs that we have the limiting beliefs Would you say that kind of extends to the sports world, as well as the more traditional life coaching world. In the sporting world, someone might be learning a skill, let’s say for example, in the world of volleyball, how to serve a volleyball over the net, and they’ll go in there and they’ll serve 100 balls in a row, and they get really comfortable serving us but what the science tells us is, if we would break that up, have them serve a couple balls, then maybe do another exercise or another activity, and then come back and serve a couple more the motor learning process and how they do it will actually increase their efficiency and have better retention down the road. And we’re starting to see that drift into the life and corporate world, a salesperson goes in. And they know that if they have four hours of phone time, each day, they might meet their sales goal, that’s their formula. But what they don’t realize is maybe if they do more research and more education on their product and take away the time from on the phone, they might actually be more productive. But they’re afraid to get out of that blind spot or out of that routine, because it has been so successful.
Darren Odell 5:39
In my practice, what I’ve been really noticing, certainly in the last 12 months is that people are still very much wanting to focus on weaknesses, when they encounter problems, they want to focus on the weaknesses, they want to fix it, they neglect the strengths that they have. And quite often, when we flip that around, and we work on the strengths, we tend to find that the weaknesses don’t go but they’re they’re very much more manageable. Is that something you’re finding in your practice?
Dan Mickle 6:08
Yeah, I would probably say that’s been the biggest shift in my personal philosophy in the last five years, as I’ve really switched to a positive psychology method. And I’m looking at, instead of attacking the bad, really enhancing and making the better, you know, the key focus, and that has always been really tough, especially in the sports psychology world, because everyone wants to work on the weakness and, and get their deficiencies better. But we can get them to where they want to be at a faster level by focusing on what they already do well and make it higher achieving. And that’s starting to bleed more into my life coaching in my business coaching, where people are finally starting to understand, okay, I need to focus on the positive because I can grow my business, or I can have a better life by focusing on the positives, and not always attacking the negative. And the other side of it is being more proactive versus reactive. I think traditionally, in the psychology field, in sports psychology, we’ve been very reactive, you know, the wheels fall off the bus is a term that we use a lot, you know, things break down in the middle of something, and then we attack it. Whereas we could have addressed that in the beginning, and looked at it from a more positive point of view and started to work on it.
Darren Odell 7:20
Sport being in many ways a more sort of macho kind of field, how do you get away from those weaknesses and start to really focus on the strengths? Because so how do you start working with people to draw them away from the weakness toward the strength,
Dan Mickle 7:34
I think the most effective way to work and grow this is to journal, if you can get your athletes and your people journaling, they can look back and reflect more. And they start to realize that some of the things that they worry about are very small and minute in the grand scheme of things. But because they’re negative, they have such a bigger feeling. And that’s probably been our biggest tool. Every team I work with, I started out right away saying, Hey, I’m not going to work with your athletes or your team at all, if I can’t get a promise that they’re going to journal, I don’t need, you know, five paragraphs a day or 20 minutes, I need a couple sentences. But I need them to understand that, hey, I might have had a few bad moments in this practice. But overall, the practice was great. You know, you always hear the hear the thing in a huddle, like, hey, let’s all give 110% or I need to give you know, I need everyone to give 100%. And the reality is I really don’t know, if we’re doing pretty well as a team. But I feel as a team where maybe at 90%, I don’t need everyone to increase their productivity by 100%. I just need a couple people to increase it by one or 2% to get us as a team up to that 100%. And what happens is you have some players that are all stars and just playing out of their mind and really, really good. And all of a sudden, they’re trying too hard now because they’re trying to pick up the slack from the rest of the team, and their productivity goes down. Whereas if I could say, hey, Tommy, do exactly what you’re doing, don’t change anything. But Jimmy, I need you to play a little bit better. And I think too many times we try and group the whole team or the group together, and it needs to be a little bit more individualized.
Darren Odell 9:19
Maybe this is a UK thing. When I asked a lot of my clients to start journaling, it makes them very uncomfortable. How do you get people to kind of accept journaling is a valid tool.
Dan Mickle 9:32
Before you even write anything. Let’s decide, is this going to be a public or a private journal? Or do you want me to read it or do you not want me to read it and I’m fine either way. Once they realize like, Hey, I’m not expecting you to come into every session, I’m going to sit down and read your diary and kind of go Hmm, you know, it’s not about that for me. I don’t really need to know it. I just need you to be able to reflect and you guys know that the longer time there is between event and when you recall it, the facts kind of changed a little bit. So I make sure especially with our teams, like the teams that I personally, coach, as soon as we’re done with a match before I even talk to them, they go to the bench and journal for five minutes, just get it down. And then I’ll have the meeting and we’ll talk about the match. So that’s my key points. Is it public or private, and letting them know like, Hey, I just need you to do this right away. And it’s a struggle. I mean, as a practitioner, we have to know that that’s going to be a struggle. I have a 13 year old daughter that’s now just starting to get into sports. And it’s been a struggle to get her journaling. But she’s finally in the groove now, and and when she forgets her journal, you can tell it’s like, oh, no, I forgot my journal, like, Okay, put it in your phone, and then write it down later, you know, or however it works. But but the public, the private is probably the biggest hurdle that I have to get over.
Darren Odell 10:49
As humans, we all have blind spots. How do you start working with a client, maybe looking at a client who’s in your life coaching area, but also in the sports sector? How do you start that off?
Dan Mickle 11:01
With my older clients that have been driving, I have a great analogy where I say, you know, we all have blind spots driving, right, where we’re ready to switch lanes, and you almost crushed the car next to you. We We all know that blind spot in the car exists. We know every time we get in the car, we have to think about it. But yet, there’s times and moments where we totally forget and almost cut someone off. And I explained that that’s exactly what your path, whether it’s sports, or your work or career, same thing, we know what our deficiencies are. And sometimes we’re just not focused on them, and we end up going to it. So I just explained to him like, you have some everyone has some or First off, you wouldn’t be here, I’d be asking for your autograph, because you’re a superstar at whatever craft you’re doing. just telling them they have the blind spot, or this is what’s wrong usually doesn’t work. So you know what I mean? I just I kind of have to work through them and, and have a visualize it and usually I can catch it. I know what they’re doing. So then I’ll focus the visualization on that. Oh, hey, you skipped over this moment in the game. What do you think happened? And then like realizing, oh, I was out of place. I’m not running the right pattern, or I’m not doing the right skill here. Okay, well, let’s explore that and go a little bit deeper and figure out why you’re not doing that. But but that’s usually how we at least introduce that they do have the blind spots,
Darren Odell 12:21
Dan as a coach, how do coaches be aware of their blind spots. So what are potential blind spots? Because I think a lot of clients come and just see you, as you’re the expert, you must have been here before you’ve learned so much you couldn’t possibly have blind spots? And yet, of course we do. Because we’re, we’re human, how do you as a coach, keep your blind spots in check,
Dan Mickle 12:43
My big push right now. And this year 2021. For me, my big push is mentoring. I feel like in the coaching world, we’re really bad at mentors. And I think that’s where blind spot and education really kind of merge is making sure that you have a mentor, that’s going to help you see your blind spot. I mean, as you know, most clinical psychologists will tell you, they all see other psychologists to help them deal with things. But yet in the coaching world, especially in the athletic coaching world, we have this ego that I don’t want to talk to that other coach, what’s that coach going to do that I can’t do, I don’t want to admit that I have these issues. And it gets really hard to find a mentor, especially if you’re trying to find a mentor in the same sport. So I really think mentorship is the key for coaches to work on their blind spots, because you need someone that’s been there. And someone that’s also going to help guide you through it and help you through it. And it goes back to that emotion. as coaches, we tend to take emotion out of everything. Because we don’t want to seem emotional to our clients. But then we kind of personally become dead inside. And we don’t realize that while we may not talk about our emotions, were still driven by our emotions, we might not outwardly show them, but we’re going to make decisions on those. And are we making decisions because of the education and what we’ve learned? Are we making it because of how we feel in the emotions and and that that’s a huge blind spot area, when our emotions start to overrun our education and our past experience. And you know, what life is telling us we should do
Darren Odell 14:17
In the UK, I think particularly those that are accredited to the ICF standards. It’s very much seen as the norm to just have coaching yourself to have a mentor. So that’s really interesting that you think maybe that’s not so much the case in the US. Do you think that the US coaches may be missing a trick in not using that if for no other reason than a kind of an advert for how good the quality of your coaching is.
Dan Mickle 14:43
Here’s a scary part. In the United States, a parent can become a coach of their kids, six year old baseball team, and they can follow that kid up the whole way through being six year old to high school. Have that dad as their coach the whole way. And there’s no formal training required. I can be a high school coach, I can be a middle school coach, I can be whatever. And the fact that I have a pulse, and I’m willing to show up at practice is all they need. You have kids that have gone through 1215 years of coaching with someone who has no accreditation whatsoever. And that is huge. Because the other aspect of that is when you then get someone that you want to introduce them to a formal coaching accreditation, whether it’s, you know, like a national governing body like USA field hockey, or, you know, USA baseball, USA volleyball, they kind of are like, Oh, wait, this guy is gonna tell me what to do. I’ve been coaching for 15 years. Well, you’ve been coaching poorly for 15 years, and you’ve been out of check, you know, and that’s a tough pill to swallow.
Darren Odell 15:48
Have we just identified a blind spot in US coaching generally, then?
Dan Mickle 15:52
Yeah, and and I think it’s starting to change a little bit. It’s ironic, because I think that one of the most successful areas we look at is US Soccer, which is obviously modeled after the UK and Europe soccer. We’re stealing everything we can from you guys, and kind of incorporating how we do it. And then the other sports are stealing it from USA soccer. There’s no secret to me, if you look at how USA soccer is run now, versus 20 years ago is completely different. But I think that is a big blind spot. My thesis, I got a second master’s degree in learning technologies. But my thesis was one mentorship, and how we need mentors, both in the educational field and in the sports world. And the research I found was scary, just how little people value mentorship, how many coaches are guarded and don’t want to let anyone in on their, you know, quote, unquote, secrets, and their methods and it gets really, really scary.
Darren Odell 16:53
You’re stealing from English football at the moment. That is something that I’m really scared at. But yeah, if you’re happy to, if you’re happy to take it from us, please do.
Dan Mickle 17:04
I will tell you I know the tide is turning because more people than not refer it to now as football instead of soccer. So like that’s how we know the tide is turning a little bit and it’s getting a little crazy over here.
Darren Odell 17:16
You heard that first on coach cast! Wow. I wanna go back to, you touched on accountability earlier in coaching. And that’s something that I think is one of the crucial selling points of any coaching program, whether it’s in the sports field or otherwise, that accountability is I’m sure you’ll agree critical to the success of coaching programs generally. Looking at accountability, and how that supports people being coached around blind spots. What would you say about linking those two and how important it is to have the accountability for the blind spot coaching,
Dan Mickle 17:53
There is a huge link between accountability and the blind spot. But for me, before we get to accountability, we have to work on trust. Because I don’t think that we can have accountability until we have trust. Those two together are where we have a big issue. I think in the coaching world, especially in athletics, we tend to thrust people into leadership roles, team captains, team leaders, but give them no training and how to be that leader. And the team doesn’t necessarily trust them. And if you don’t trust your teammates, it’s really hard to hold them accountable. Because I can’t trust that if I tell you, Hey, I don’t think you’re pulling your weight, that you’re going to take it from a bad point and think I’m attacking you. Whereas I’m just trying to make you a little bit better as as a person or a teammate. But accountability is a huge thing in that because if we don’t hold each other accountable, then how are we going to show those blind spots? And how are we going to trust that that truly is a blind spot and not just maybe a hiccup in our in our plan and kind of what we’re going. But But for me the trust is the the first pillar of of what we’re building there.
Darren Odell 19:01
And how do we highlight what is as you put it a hiccup and what is a true blind spot?
Dan Mickle 19:07
A player will make a mistake and they’ll obsess over it. And it’s like, hey, just stop a minute. Let’s see that mistake happened a few more times, and kind of giving them feedback. And once we see the pattern develop, then we know it’s not a hiccup. It’s it’s not just a one time or a few time occurrence. It’s an actual pattern or a habit. And then that’s where we have to say, okay, we need to change this habit. Once we have a habit and the problem with habits, they become so automatic, that we forget about it. And we need to break that whole cycle of we call it automaticity. And breaking that cycle that a lot of things that we do are great because they’re automatic, they’re efficient, and they’re fast because we don’t even have to think about it. But is there a point where we lose the authentic nature of what we’re doing because it’s become automatic. So Sometimes we just need to break those things and just make sure and look at it and reflect on it. Again, this is where the journaling comes in. Okay, I do this all the time without thinking about it. But is there a better way to do it? And am I doing it correctly?
Darren Odell 20:13
Well, I have a couple of nuggets that you could give us where you’re taking it from the sports world of coaching, and transplanting it into life coaching, what would what would be a couple of things where you think that really works in sport. And it can really work in other areas, too,
Dan Mickle 20:30
it’s really easy to use visualization in the sports world, you know, I don’t know if you guys are familiar with a study from Chicago university with the free throw basketball shooting where, you know, they broke up the group into three groups, one group didn’t do anything for a month, one group went in and physically shot basketballs for a month. And then the third group just visualized shooting it. And what they found was obviously, the team that went in and shot physical basketballs increase their efficiency. But what was crazy about it was the people that just did the visualization actually increased it almost as much. I believe it was a 24% for the people physically doing it, and 23% increase for the people visually doing it. It’s really easy for us to do visualization in sports, because we’re doing a skill and we can, you know, do the other team and add things. But bringing it into the life and the coaching world and and the corporate world is huge. The next is just breathing, we work a lot of breathing. And athletes do it to calm them down. But what parents are starting to realize is breathing exercises are great for kids that have anxiety. They’re great for daily anxiety. So if I’m about to have a big meeting with my boss, that maybe things didn’t go so well, I kind of mess things up. Maybe I’m going to go through a breathing exercise for a little bit just so I’m calm, and I can have a productive conversation with my boss. So there’s these little things that we can now do that we probably learned and tested on the sports field. But we know that work, and we bring it into the corporate and life world. But I would say relaxation techniques and imagery visualization are probably the biggest,
Darren Odell 22:07
You can clearly see what it is you’re trying to do, what its gonna look like, what it smells like, what it tastes like, you know, what people are going to be saying, you know, it’s so true. And it’s really good to hear you say that from the sports world as well. It’s working just as well.
Dan Mickle 22:21
The other big one for us is I don’t know how familiar you guys are with Tim Ferriss, and in his work, but his……
Darren Odell 22:28
……Oh, Justin, Justin’s nodding there.
Oh, I am a huge fan of Tim Ferriss. I let you carry on Dan
Dan Mickle 22:33
His his, when he did the TED talk on fear setting, it totally changed how I started doing things. Because we have this tendency to avoid, we don’t want to look at the negative and the bad. We want to push it off or, you know, I don’t want to think about doing my taxes because I don’t want to pay that bill. You know it? Well, it’s going to happen. So you need to think about Okay, I might owe a lot of money. How am I going to handle that? And we do that? Obviously, in the sports world. What happens if our star player gets hurt or can’t make it? Well, we don’t want to think about that. Well, I want to think about that. Because if it does happen I want to be prepared for and be the better team. So that whole what Tim did and kind of flipping things to go from goal setting to fear setting was huge for us. And going the opposite way. I know you asked from the sports world into the corporate and the life world. The other way I think goal setting is a big thing that has come into the sports world that has been predominant in the life world. I think more people were probably goal setting personally than ever did in a sports world. I mean, we obviously have our goals, we want to win our division and win our championship and win that. But to actually break it down and use methods like smart and and all those ways to set goals is probably the other biggest exchange between life and sports.
Justin Petersen 23:49
It’s been a fascinating conversation from Darren because your social health care coach, I’ve got also coaches concentrating on sports and to see the crossover has been absolutely fascinating to see because I thought we’re gonna get garnered does sports and athletics also study psychology, and a coach that does purely sort of life and corporate, and the amount of crossover was crazy. Can anybody tell me if a breakthrough with a client that helps you get over their blind spot, but also your own flavor at damn first so basically, you’re working with a client or team even that a huge blind spot that actually helps you overcome your own
Dan Mickle 24:24
in 2018 I came on board with USA volleyball we started pair pair of beach volleyball, and it’s challenged athletes. And we basically found out in February that we had to play in the world championships in China in May. So we had three months and I never worked. I mean I have friends that are in the Paralympics, you know are sitting volleyball teams and some veterans and stuff but I’ve never worked really one on one with a team of of any disabled athletes. My blind spot was I was afraid To address the disabilities, I wanted so much to make it, hey, this is how we’re going to, we’re going to coach it just like I coach, every other player, every other team. And they too were, we didn’t want to think about it, we’re just going to play like we normally do. And one of the things we never thought about was the elements. For example, sand getting in prosthetics. We never thought about, so we had to think about those things. And and that was probably the biggest thing that brought me brought me around,
Justin Petersen 25:34
In your observations of working with teams and clients. Can you find that in some teams or clients you looked at? The team can inherit the coaches blind spots? And then they end up doing what the manager can do? Or does it go the way does the team have blind spots or the client, and it can affect the manager and also that the person managing or the coach itself? Do you find that guys, or not?
Dan Mickle 25:58
it can go both ways, it really depends on the culture and the environment, I like to refer to as the stutter effect, you know, if you have someone that stutters, and you put them with another person that stutters, they don’t stutter, that can happen with the team. Now that can be good or bad. So a bad influence can come in and infect the team and the whole team can can kind of take those bad things, or the team can change that person and their personalities. And it really becomes the coach to make sure that that’s happening. And then to your bigger point, absolutely a team, you know, you can look at coaching trees, someone that played for a certain coach becomes their own coach, and you’ll see the same habits in that player. And you’ll see that that’s, you know, you’ll see the same blind spots in there. So, again, it goes back to that, bring in someone from the outside, bring in a mentor, not only to look at your team, but to look at you and we have an open door policy at the college that I coach at currently, any of my coaching friends, hey, if you’re in the area, stop by we practice from three to 5pm. It’s always open for you. But I need you to promise that you’re not going to look just at my team and what they’re doing, I need you to look at me and make sure I’m doing the right things as well. Where could I coach this team better. And I think a lot of coaches don’t like that. They like to doors being locked in no one else allowed in to see what’s going on. And I think that’s a huge, huge problem.
Darren Odell 27:19
I mean, the biggest, the biggest change that I noticed was when I moved from one to one coaching into more sort of business coaching in the in the health and social care field. I think for me, coaching one to one, it was easier to maintain the boundaries, I think people who wanted one to one coaching invested more time in finding out what it meant, what it could be what the expectations might be. Whereas going into a more corporate world, where there’s less one to one coaching, it may start that way with maybe the manager or the director, but very quickly, you can quite often be in front of, you know, 1520 people where you’re coaching a team, because the corporate funding that’s come with it comes along, it’s it’s almost as though there’s an expectation that because we’re paying you, who pays the Piper calls the tune, and therefore you will be able to help us you will be able to guide us you will be able to say don’t do that do this. And that’s not what coaching is about. So I think for me, it’s about remaining true to those boundaries, and and reminding myself before each session of what is expected of me as a coach, because a lot of what might be asked of me particularly in the initial sessions may not actually be coaching, it may be consultancy. And that’s not what I’m there for.
Dan Mickle 28:41
I was just gonna say I think you hit an amazing point, when you saw it said about the difference between coaching and consulting. That is a big one. For me consulting means I’m going to come in, see what your problems are, and suggest this is how you fix it. Coaching to me is I’m going to try and help you find out why you’re having the problems, but I’m going to teach you how to fix it. I’m going to guide you and get you there. But I’m not fixing it for you. And a lot of times we do get called in. And they want us to fix it. And it’s amazing. I always joke but I can tell when local schools are getting ready to go to playoffs because that’s when my phone starts ringing and the emails. And it’s like, No, you should have called me four months ago, so that we could have worked up to this point, I can’t help you in a week win the championship. You know, that’s just not how it works. But, and I’m learning that that’s the philosophy of the business world now that I’m getting more into the personal and life coaching and the corporate coaching. It’s like you said, those that are paying me want the results. They don’t care that I’m teaching their employees how to actually do it and think for themselves. They just want things to get better. And sometimes that’s a fight that you have to have and a bit of a struggle as a coach,
Darren Odell 29:48
I was gonna say it’s such an important point because as coaches, I think when you’re talking about trust, and empathy, you’ve got to go in with a genuine belief that you guys whoever it is, you’re coaching You’ve got the answers, you’ve got the expertise, you’ve got the the best way forward. Like Dan said, you know, we’re there to guide you, we’re there to walk alongside you. But we’re not there to tell you what’s best for you quite often, it’s the clients that know what’s best for them. You’ve just got to walk with them and let them know that, you know, that might be okay, we can tweak it later on. But you know, go with your gut, because a lot of those easy initial things that come up, they may seem like quick wins, but they can often be a huge springboard to future greatness. And and even if they’re not, even if they are quick wins, it’s a great way to get that initial confidence that sets that momentum continuing.
Justin Petersen 30:40
For anyone listening right now, there’s no such thing as a quick fix, you’re going to have to play in for the long term. How do we stop this quick fix culture? Is there a way we can get around with clients with teams going, Oh, hey, Dan, can you fix my team? We’re really bad or Hey Darren, can you fix my really bad business focus? Is there a way we get around this or not?
Dan Mickle 30:58
For me, it’s about the philosophies and the principles that you bring to the team. And that’s another thing that’s amazing to me, I can’t believe that how many companies, people and athletes, and coaches and teams all of it have no guiding philosophies. And that’s an that’s another thing that, you know, I brought from the sport world into the corporate world. When I work with a company, the first thing I said is, well, what’s your company philosophy? Well, what do you mean, we want to make money? I’m like, okay, that that’s your goal. But you know, what’s going to guide you what’s acceptable for your employees to do what’s acceptable for your team to do? And we see it all the time that coaches don’t have a philosophy, you know, how are you going to treat your star player that can’t make it to practice twice a week, because they have academics versus the kid that’s maybe not the best player, but can make every practice, you’re still not going to start that that second tier player over the top tier player, because you want to win. But as long as that is in your philosophy, and everyone knows that, when you’re working with that team, they’ll accept it. And I think that’s how we get people to look at the long run, we need to have our philosophies and our principles, and this is what we’re about. We see it in the sports world a lot where teams acquire players that are the best players in their positions, but the minute you throw them all together, it’s it’s what we call a dumpster fire, you know what I mean? Like, it’s just, nothing’s working, but it and and it always comes down to well, their egos are too big, and they can’t get along. But it’s really not that it’s just everyone’s coming from a different system, and you expect them to be able to work together. Someone that works for, you know, Coca Cola coming over to Pepsi, you would think that’s probably the same thing. But those cultures are completely different between those two. So you might have been successful in Coca Cola, but you may not be successful at Pepsi, because you just don’t, you don’t fit that culture. Unfortunately, there’s tons of examples of that not working, but no one wants to listen to it. They just want to do that quick shot, and we’re gonna get through it.
Darren Odell 32:57
I think it’s coaching, bringing about a permission to slow down, I think everybody is on autopilot, wanting quick fixes, wanting it now, quite often, I’ll go into coaching situations, and it’ll be I want this and I want it now. And I know I need that by next Thursday. So let’s slow down, let’s just take our time. And actually, if you say it enough times, people do actually want the invitation to slow down. We don’t have enough time nowadays, to really take time for ourselves. And coaching provides that opportunity to actually sit down and think what do I want? How am I going to get there, Rome wasn’t built in a day. So I can’t expect as you said, just into, you know, it’s going to take a lot of work over a number of years. Coaching can get you to where you need to be but one of the things what is having that ability and giving yourself permission to slow down and take your time. The way to stop. The quick fix is to offer coaching, which offers by by default, an opportunity to slow down and really think not just about what I want, but how am I going to get there? How am I going to create those building blocks, which are going to stand the test of time long after the coach has gone.
Dan Mickle 34:07
The slowing down part is huge. I just got done reading a book called The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova. And she was a psychologist that became a writer and then decided to, for a book become a professional poker player never played poker in her life. And her goal was to play in the World Series of Poker in a year. And the whole book is about her journey. You know, she got Eric Seidel who is one of the best poker players in the world to be her mentor and kind of walk her through. But watching her transformation from wanting to instantly be good to finally realizing the long game as the way to go. was amazing. And that was the biggest takeaway I got from the book was she wanted to make the world series which she did in a year. But halfway through she realized if I don’t that’s okay because the journey is what this has been about and she Realize that halfway through. And I think that’s the point that we have to drive through at some point. It’s got to be about the journey and the long game, and not the quick fix.
Justin Petersen 35:09
I think as he looked to finish up this episode, which has been absolutely fascinating for me, the crossover has been absolutely amazing. I think we can all agree it being uncomfortable playing to your strengths. I think Dan said it as well to journal, I never journal, I think I should do it if I want to improve stuff. But the takeaway down if there’s three points, we could really give someone who’s in a blind spot right now of themselves or with their coach, what could we say to them now?
Dan Mickle 35:35
I think the first point is, if you’re comfortable in what you’re doing, you’re in a blind spot, there has to be at least some level of uncomfortable because you’re growing then. And that means you’re looking at something and having, you know, the retrospective of what’s going on. From a skill standpoint, that journaling, again is huge for me, just take a moment and be present. You know, mindfulness is such a buzzword right now. And everyone is selling mindfulness and talking mindfulness. But the concept of just being in the moment, and objectively looking at things is is huge, so slow down. So I would say get uncomfortable journal and slow down, are probably my three biggest points for people.
Darren Odell 36:17
Dan annoyingly stole stole, my first one, I was, I was I was exactly gonna, I’m gonna echo that, you know, if you’re not in the stretch zone, then there’s, there’s something wrong, because you’re not developing, you’re not growing, you’re not, you know, changing in any way, you’ve got to be in the stretch zone. I think what I said earlier, take an interest in others don’t become paranoid. But you know, if people people’s communications with you, particularly nonverbal communication, tells us something. And and I think, you know, just try and be a bit more in tune with what others are doing. It may not be that they’re being nasty, or offhand or rude or offensive, they may actually be doing you a favor. And I think as well just be open to the fact that we all have blind spots, whether we’re coaches or not As humans, we have blind spots, and anybody who says they don’t have a blind spot is a liar. Frankly, we all have blind spots. So be open to that possibility. Because once you’re open to it, even just sitting there thinking, do I have blind spots, that is the start of something, that’s the start of maybe identifying where they are these blind spots lie, whether you do that alone, or whether you do that with a coach or just friends and family, just be open to the fact that we all have blind spots, that they don’t have to be permanent.
Justin Petersen 37:38
So for anyone listening to this, I hope you can see a bit more clearly you can see your blind spot now. And he might be uncomfortable to do it. Don’t be afraid to journal. And don’t be afraid to slow down because these guys have taught you in the last hour, or just sort of showing you where you can go well, from sort of summarizing the blind spot to being a bit more inspired. Yes, it stays for season two, after way too much popular feedback, the inspirational quote, and I’ve now had to start publishing was Instagram because people keep asking me about them. So to finish off the show, we’d like to give you some inspiration. And Dan, I think we’ d like you to start do you have an inspirational quote for us.
Dan Mickle 38:20
Can I give you two?
Justin Petersen 38:21
Of course you may.
My first one is “don’t suck!” And, and I feel I feel like I need to give the very brief story about that. We were in a championship match. And we were just performing, we were in the flow. And the other team called, you know, a timeout, and my team is staring at me in the huddle. And I had nothing to say like we’re playing perfectly everything’s going and they’re like, well, we need something. And literally the first things that came out of my words were don’t suck. And we ended up winning. And from that moment on for the last six years now every team I have has adapted you know that don’t suck mantra. probably my biggest one that I like to live by is you can’t smell the roses if we’re running with them. We work so hard to get our goals, but we never stopped to actually enjoy it. So why do we work towards it? So take those moment and enjoy the journey and enjoy reaching your goals. It’s okay to go on to the next goal, but enjoy it for a little bit.
Well, I found my clip for the show now don’t suck that’s definitely gonna be included. Darren, what’s your inspirational quote before I read mine out.
Darren Odell 39:24
I’ve taken one from another great book by Donald Clifton and Pamela Nelson. It’s a book that’s over 35 years old. It’s called simply play to your strengths. And I’ve read it so many times. And every time I read it, there’s something new that comes out of it. But my quote has come from that book and it’s this — there is no alchemy for weaknesses. They can be removed, but they cannot be transformed into strengths. The goal therefore is to manage the weaknesses so that the strengths can be freed to develop and become so powerful that they make the weaknesses irrelevant.
The show notes for this episode are included below:
Darren and Justin talk to top sports psychologist, founder of the Soul Performance Academy and presenter of the The Mental Podcast Dan Mickle from Pennsylvania in America.
In this fun packed and entertaining episode, Dan, Darren and Justin find out why they shouldn’t suck, how they overcame their own blind-spots and why taking it slow is so important to your own self-improvement
Books mentioned during the show:
Tim Ferris — Fear Setting TED Talk — https://youtu.be/5J6jAC6XxAI
The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Take Control and Master the Odds: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win
Contacting Dan Mickle:
All social media: @realdanmickle
Contacting Darren Odell:
To get in touch with Darren about coaching, the show or being a guest, his details are here:
Wellness Coaching UK on Facebook
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Thank you for listening to The Coach Cast……see you on 15th!
“Don’t Suck” (listen back to why he uses this one)
“You can’t smell the roses, if you’re running with them”
“There is no alchemy for weaknesses, they can be removed but they cannot be transformed into strengths, the goal therefore is to manage the weaknesses, so that the strengths can be freed to develop and become so powerful that they make the weaknesses irrelevant”
Donald Clifton and Pamela Nelson — Play to your Strengths
“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory then your current results”
James Clear — Atomic Habits
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