Monday, March 16, 2009

What Is Your Super Power?

I read an article by marketer Seth Godin that brought up this topic of "super powers." It’s funny because it’s a term we use in our family a lot. Everybody has their own Super Power.

We believe in the idea that there are different types of intelligence (analytical, language, kinesthetic, interpersonal, etc.. read Howard gardner for more detail). While I can be highly analytical, while my wife is amazing at reading and relating to people instantly. She gets more personal details and life stories on first meeting people than anyone I know. That's her super power.

It’s also something we use with our daughters and to highlight their individual strengths. Unfortunately our education system has come to value primarily analytical skills, even though real life relies on much more. One of my daughters has an amazing wit and is incredibly astute and reading people, thats her super power.

If you look at the teams of comic super heroes, each has a unique super power. The team is built on the super heroes having different skills and coming up with solutions together. When someone meets these heroes its introductions with; “I’m Superboy and I can fly and have X-ray vision, I’m Electro-Girl and I can harness electrical energy and shoot lightning bolts, etc...”

As a coach, whats your super power? What are you really good at that can help the athlete and can help your performance team. Its important for you to know for a couple of reasons.

First, grow it. Use it, nurture it, find ways to make it better. This is the basic idea of playing to your strengths. Yes, its important to fill-in those weaknesses, but don’t ever forget to focus on your strengths. So if you are really good at relating to athletes and finding the right cues for them in sprint training, BE THAT SUPER HERO. Don’t try to become GROUND REACTION FORCES/SOFT TISSUE RELEASE/SPRINT TRAINING MAN. Yes, fill in your skills, but emphasize your strengths.

Next, its important so you can sell yourself. Sell yourself to your athletes. When you are working with a new or prospective athlete, its much better to be “I’m Coach Smith, I specialize in analyzing your sprint start and 40yd dash.” Than to be “I’m Coach Smith.” Bring a strength to the table that is going to benefit them.

This is also true when getting a coaching position or becoming part of a performance team. Bring something to the job. In marketing that may be called a USP, Unique Selling Porposition. Lets just call it your Super Power. What are you really good at?