Coachingmental health

Have you ever heard the parable of the starving baker? Once upon a time, there was a baker renowned for his delightful pastries and delicious breads who took great pride in feeding his community. As the town’s population grew, so did the demand for his baked goods. The baker, determined meet this need, started working harder. He started skipping his own meals. He started canceling his personal plans, and neglecting himself. So determined he was to feed his town, he continuously put himself last. 

As you can imagine, over time took a toll. The baker, once the epitome of energy and zest for his work and life, grew tired and dispassionate. His work product declined, along with his health, until one day, he couldn’t even leave his own bed. And the entire town went unfed.

When it comes to coaching and supporting our young athletes these days, does this story sound familiar?  Do us parents run ourselves ragged taking our kids from one event to another, one sport to their second sport, worried that we are letting them down if we do not provide them with every opportunity, oftentimes misled by the false narratives of the youth sports industrial complex? Coaches, do we stay up all night and get up early, thinking about ways to help our teams and athletes, dealing with all the logistics, player management, mental wellness, and more, only to be blindsided by some parental complaint, or an athlete violating team standards? Do we skip our own kids’ events and neglect our own family time to invest in others, and then feel little gratitude back?

I think we have all been there, some of us many times. Our investment in others as parents and coaches is one of the greatest acts of selflessness you will see in this world, and yet it is so easy to become that starving baker. We give so much to others that we never give to ourselves.  And if we continuously neglect our own needs, we jeopardize our ability to serve others.

So this week, I just wanted to remind you all to nourish yourself. You are not a bad parent and you are not letting your kids down if you don’t say yes to everything. Say yes to the “Hell Yes’s” and no to everything else. And coaches, especially those in season, schedule time to go to the gym, have coffee with your spouse, have a family meal or three. Try meditation or prayer, some quiet reflective time. And in the offseason invest in your coaching and personal development.  Invest in your family. Life cannot always be in balance on a daily level if you want to be a high performer in coaching, parenting, or any aspect of life. But it cannot remain out of balance forever.

Or you will starve, just like the baker did. 

And thats not good for anyone!

To nourish your own soul, here is a link to our favorite books last year. Our 2023 list is coming soon.


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