Think back on your first recruiting trip… or your first recruiting call. I bet one of the first things that coach asked you was “Are you coachable?” And of course you wanting to make a good impression said “yes! I’m coachable.” But, are you really, though? Do you handle constructive criticism well and are you a problem solver? If you’ve made it to the collegiate level, there is some degree of coachability in you and that trait will prove extremely valuable after your playing days are over.

“Being coachable is about more than being able to take instructions”   

It means seeking solutions, seeking mentorship, and handling criticism among other things.

When the game ends, the stakes are much higher. You are no longer looking to your athletic coach for the next move beacause you have to be able to figure it out. You don’t have to do it alone, but you DO have to be willing to be coached in the area you want to succeed in. I currently have four coaches. I have a business coach, a speaking coach, a book writing coach, and a financial coach.

Mentorship matters

We know what mentors are, but do you know why they are important? Mentors see things in you that you have yet to see. If they agree to mentor you it’s more than likely because they see your potential. My mentor Louis Ray knew that I needed to get my education to set me on the right path. I wouldn’t have gone to college without him. Here’s the thing, though, you have to WANT to be inspired. You have to WANT to hear the good and the bad. A good mentor will have your best interest at heart. Don’t underestimate this, for the relationship to work you must be coachable.

Seeking solutions

Let’s be real… Problems are a part of life and you have to learn how to look for solutions instead of focusing on problems (and problems that are out of your control you have to let go). After you’ve found your mentor, the task isn’t over. You want to do something great? Cool, start by coming to the table with a list of solutions to the “problems” you believe you have. What are the obstacles? Since your mentor has already braved those waters they can help you navigate solutions. A mentor isn’t there to hold your hand. If they give you advice take it and if they give you an opportunity take it! Say YES and figure out the solutions along the way; this is one of the best exercises for problem-solving. It will help you grow and bring value to your mentor.

“Mentors are more of like your personal guides”   

The truth is they have been there before. Besides, the most valuable learnings is when you try to figure them out first. Most mentors will respect you for your effort so make sure you are putting in 100%.

What are some ways to improve your coachability?

  • Check yourself. If you knew all the answers, you would be where you want to be already. There is power in a humble heart.
  • Find a mentor that is already doing what you want to do. YOU must ask, this will be an indicator to them that you are serious.
  • Remember that criticism is only pruning. The job of the mentor is to help you realize your potential, and sometimes it takes pruning.

I’ll leave you with this quote…

Being coachable – even if it makes you feel vulnerable – is the secret to achieving many or most of your dreams.

For an extra deep dive into coachability, grab my book where you can take notes, answer questions, and learn more about mentorship.

What are some ways that you are coachable and what are some areas you could improve? If you found this valuable, please share it and comment so others can get some nuggets too.