Seth Godin has a post on his blog with the same title as this one. It’s something I shared in my weekly newsletter (subscribe here), but I thought it was worth delving a little bit deeper on here.

Although it might be a useful exercise for you to think about what you feel is the hard part of coaching, that’s not where Godin takes this conversation. Rather, he sees it as a useful team exercise. He seeks to expose points of friction in a team or organization that we as leaders can correct.

In a way, this is similar to what I addressed in my Fun and not so fun post. That one focuses on individual player motivation, but there’s cross-over.

I think the key with Godin’s question is how you frame it. There are a few different angles of approach. Let me use a college team as an example. We can ask “What’s the hard part of …”

  • Playing the game?
  • Practicing and training?
  • Being a student-athlete?
  • Being in this program?

Can you see how each of those variations is likely to inspire a different type of answer?

Godin’s focus is on improving conditions in which team members work. Identifying where we can make improvements, obviously, means finding those friction points holding us back. We can do that by starting with a macro level (broad) focus (program). Then we can use those findings to start narrowing down on specific things to address.

And it’s important to get everyone’s response to this. Otherwise you risk the louder voices crowding out the quieter ones.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.