Why coaching should be Intentionally Left Blank…

coaching left blank


Every so often, when I receive an important document, there is always This Page Intentionally Left Blank.  This is so because if a document had a printing issue, there might be serious consequences. More importantly, imagine all of the inquiries and anxiety from readers if they came across a blank page without it being intentional. 

Coaching is basically the same way. Our team wants to know what pages are left intentionally blank. They want to know the expectations and our style! For instance, I’ve had successful athletes perform better when I’ve challenged them that, “They can’t do a task.” They declare “I’ll show you, and do it.” However, I don’t always like coaching that way and I have to communicate that.

One of the biggest frustrations of numerous coaches in business and athletics is that people struggle with trouble shooting, problem-solving, making adjustments, and thinking on their own. They are usually wonderful at doing what is expected, but not finding a way on their own…

So, we call timeout. We call timeout so often that people expect the timeout. They need the coaching session, the feedback, and told what to do. Can you imagine a coach NOT calling timeout during crucial moments now?

One of the coolest things during the 1987 national championship game between Indiana and Syracuse was that the last :20 seconds of the game (before Keith Smart made the iconic last shot), was NO TIMEOUT was called by coach Knight. He prepared for it.

Coaching is coaxing, but the best is knowing when NOT to coach. What pages need to be intentionally left blank? We leave pages intentionally blank by simply communicating how we coach and knowing how they want to be coached?


Dr. Rob Bell

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kid: Build Their Mental Toughness   

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