The Masks of a Coach
You know what I’m talking about, right?
If you’re a seasoned coach, you’ll be familiar with what I’m about to say.
We all have to put masks on.
It’s the persona who has to show up depending on the person in front of us.
It’s why you become so adept at talking and connecting with people.
It’s the development of ‘you’ and the different sides that need to show up, day in, day out.
Sometimes we have to play coach.
Sometimes we have to play trainer.
Sometimes we play friend.
And sometimes we play counsellor.
In other circles, sometimes you might even have to play father, brother or sister figure.
It’s also not uncommon for some couples to coach each other.
Every mask is a part of who we are as a person, but not necessarily who we are.
It’s crazy to think that there are so many sides to us, some of which are manufactured by watching other people and that which is uniquely our own.
So here’s the thing.
How often do you take your masks… off?
As a trainer and/or coach, you might be comfortable being a certain ‘type’ of person.
The person who asks questions.
The person who tells others what to do.
The person who others come to for advice.
The mask you wear is one of authority, leadership and counsel.
But you can’t wear that mask all the time.
Sometimes you need to be the one who tells.
You need to be the one who is told what to do.
You need to be the one that seeks advice.
And even then, that is another mask you wear – typically one where you are the learner, the child-like wanderer, and the novice.
It’s important as coaches that we take time to take our usual masks off.
This is important because our mask is usually associated with giving.
We are giving our time.
We are giving our energy.
We are giving our effort.
This is draining – and cannot be sustained ALL the time.
You are the person who ‘gives’ all the time, and the more you give, the more drained you become.
This means when you are not working, you NEED to take that mask of.
Allow yourself to take.
Be the one to take advice.
Be the one to be told.
Be the one who answers rather than questions.
And as an extension, you need to put the friend mask on too. You need to be a friend sometimes before a coach.
You need to be a mother or father before a coach.
You need to be a partner, not a coach.
And also, never forget that at some point, it’s JUST you.
And if you’re lucky enough, you can take all the masks off and be you, for yourself.