Wellness Is For Leaders Too

Do you know what many of the world’s best CEOs do to optimize their own performance?

They run.

Or cycle.

Or meditate.

Or hydrate.

Or go home to see their partners and children.

Yes, the hottest new trend in corporate leadership is taking care of yourself so you can take better care of your team. And yes, that means less hours being ‘busy’ at the office.

The irony is that sports leadership has not caught on to this trend. The people who spend their days studying every detail of human performance are the ones who adhere to none of their own findings.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

As sports coaches, we know 8 hours is an optimal amount of sleep, but we’re the ones who glorify the practice of getting 4 hours sleep on a couch in the office. Or seeing our children just twice a week.

Look, I get it. Preparation is everything. Professional sports are cutthroat. But the question remains: are you doing good work, or are you just logging time at the facility?

Recently, at a sports leadership conference in Las Vegas, I gave a talk titled Are We All Optimized, which argued that coaches should be looking for competitive advantage from their own physical and mental wellbeing.

We jabber on endlessly about the technical, tactical, physical and mental training of our players, but completely overlook our own physical and mental training.

What if we followed the CEOs and were able to coach our athletes more effectively by optimizing ourselves?

How good could we be as coaches if we had a place to unload our own emotional baggage?

Can you make sharper in-game decisions by studying less film and instead making time to go for a run outside? (Not on an indoor treadmill)

My opinion is that coaches need to stop scratching around for 0.1% improvement from athletes and start looking at the 2, 3, and 4% gains we can get from ourselves.

We have the lessons, so let’s use them.