One of my favorite TV shows is the Ultimate Fighter. Its one of my guilty pleasures.
I’m not a fan of reality TV but this one keeps me interested. Plus, I guess I like to watch big knuckleheads in great shape beat the tar out of each other.
Over the last couple of years, I haven’t been impressed with the quality of coaching.
They don’t show a lot of what goes on but the typical coach/athlete conversation would go something like this:
Coach: Go punch
Coach: Punch harder
It wasn’t great coaching or even motivating.
But this year is different. The two coaches, Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen are smart and articulate. I really like the advice that Sonnen gave his athlete.
In the second fight, he was talking to his fighter about fear. And it wasn’t just advice about the fear of getting hurt.
It was about the fear of not being good enough. Not being worthy.
The advice was that everyone has it. Everyone. And you don’t fight your way through it. You acknowledge it and then keep training. Keep fighting. Keep going.
It was great advice. It was honest and heartfelt. And I believe it was the truth.
All our athletes have fear. From the littlest U6 to our elite U20’s. Whatever sport; swimming, soccer, football, volleyball, all athletes feel fear. We wonder if we are good enough.
As a coach and teacher, talk to your athletes honestly and openly. Let them know that they will experience it. And to keep striving through.
BTW, at the end of the fight, his fighter had an amazing knockout with a brutal spinning back kick to the head of his opponent.
Like I said, it’s a fun but brutal sport to watch. The girlfriend hates it…but it’s on tonight and I can’t wait to watch.