I didn't always feel this way. Especially when it came to my teacher / coach roles. It was about my record as a coach or how well my students did, but more because of what people would think of me. I must be a great coach because the team did well. Or I must be a great teacher because my students scored so well on a stupid standardized test. One of my former coaches Bill Klapach set me straight one day. It was my first year as a varsity head baseball coach and we lost...again! We started out the 0-3 or 4 or whatever on the season and I started feeling like we would never get in the win column. Coach Klapach took me on the side after a tough loss and told me the biggest mistake that coaches make is to think that they are an extension of their records. He told me I was a good coach because he saw the way I worked with the players and he knew my heart was in it for the right reasons. He told me I was always going to be a good coach even if I never won a game. Everyone needs a coach Klapach in their lives, it helps to give you a well needed dose of wisdom and reality sometimes. One thing I've always been able to do it find my Coach Klapach! Every job I've had, I've always been able to find that person to smack me to set me straight or pat me on the back to cheer me up. In all fairness, its probably been equal parts smacking and patting throughout my career. But I know to this day, if I contact any of my mentors they will be brutally honest with me. Some will try to spare my feelings and put things in a nice way (Thanks Roy, Vinni, Deidre, Alex), and some will give it to me straight with no chaser (and I love you guys for it Duff, Bruce & Reg).
Its harder when you're young and you want to be the amazing, older, established teacher or coach. But there's a reason why there aren't so many of them around. It takes a tremendous amount of patience and sacrifice to attain those goals. Most of us aren't willing to wait that long, even when we know that most things that take a long time to achieve feel better when we get there. We all want the quick fix! Think about it, we want to hit the lottery instead of working hard everyday to make the big bucks. We want the fitness model body without working out or eating properly. Just give me a pill for it. We want great grades but don't want to study. We want 200 clients but don't want to advertise, work long hours, or hone are craft as trainers.
How often do you put others ahead of yourself? If you ask this question to yourself, and answer honestly, some of you will be taken back by your answers. I know people who claim to put themselves first at all times, but eat before their families do, serve themselves before their spouses, or make a decision for their classes based on what is best (easiest) for them, not the students. I also know people that are blunt about their selfish nature but I see them losing sleep preparing a great lesson for next week's classes, or extending a client's training session by 20 minutes (unpaid) to help them get the correct form on a difficult movement. I know hitting instructors who are at their clients games ALL the time, tweaking mechanics here and there for the good of their students.
I don't think its any coincidence that I take pride in my titles: husband, father, teacher, coach, mentor, trainer. None of these are about me, they are all about putting others first. Any husband or father that thinks its all about them, and not their spouse & children, please come and see me immediately...you need some help!