To Coach is to Sell…

I’ve discussed this with some of my peers and most disagree that coaching’s about hustling and selling. In fact, one of them got really annoyed when I suggested that coaches should be put through sales training.

No surprises though, most of us do not perceive the selling profession favourably. I don’t reckon this perception is common only in Singapore. In his bestselling book, ‘To Sell Is Human’, author Dan Pink conducted a survey in the US where he asked people to state the first word that came to mind when they heard “sales” or “selling”, and this is the word cloud that came about…

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Pink argues that the above is an extremely outdated perspective about sales. In reality, when we combine traditional selling with “non-sales selling”, all of us sell. Specifically, as part of our work and lives, we need to constantly influence, sway or persuade others to take action. Doesn’t that sound like coaching?

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From Noise to Extemporization

“Musical extemporization is the creative activity of immediate (“in the moment”) musical composition, which combines performance with communication of emotions and instrumental technique as well as spontaneous response to other musicians.” Gorow 2002, 212

Extemporization of any art form (including sport) is often associated with expert level of performance.

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“What’s the difference between music and noise?” Music’s organized noise.

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Why be Grateful?

Much has been preached about the attitude of gratitude. Almost every religion or philosopher (even Bayfucius) advocates it, but what’s the science behind it? How does it make us better, happier and even more resilient?

When we express gratitude, we are Focused On What We Have instead of what we don’t.

Gratitude is somewhat counter-intuitive in a country where we “Everything also complain.” Furthermore, Singaporeans are an ambitious lot, always focusing on achieving what we do not have yet. This may develop to become a sort of blindness that limits our worldview, i.e., we are less likely to notice the good in our lives and even the opportunities that come our way.

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“I am very special…”

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“In the 1950s only 12% of young adults agreed with the statement “I am a very special person”, 77% of boys and more than 80% of girls of the same cohort by 1989 agreed with it.” Jean M.  Twenge, The Narcissm Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement

It’s been 20 years since 1989 and I’m pretty certain that the percentage today is close to 100%.

Wouldn’t that make the one who feels that he isn’t special the truly SPECIAL one then?

All Possible Paths

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I was watching one of Feyman’s archived lectures that was screened during the exhibition – While explaining some sort of quantum concept, he sensed that the audience weren’t able to really grasp his explanation (neither did I) and remarked jokingly that they needn’t worry, he had many undergraduates who have spent four years with him and still did not understand Quantum Physics! He went on to share that not understanding doesn’t mean that learning hasn’t taken place, and what matters is that you are curious to want to find out more…

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7 Reminders from ‘The Little Prince’

Life, relationships, looking beyond the surface, our responsibility towards each other, and the futility of adult behavior are themes explored in this story.

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I’ve read the book a few times and early this year, had the opportunity to visit ‘The Little Prince: The Story Behind’ – an exhibition celebrating the 75th anniversary of the publication.

Revisiting the story and the quotes during the exhibition was a good reminder for me about what really matters in life, and not to be “misguided” by the folly of adulthood.

All pictures here are taken from the exhibition at the Singapore Philatelic Museum.

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Coaching and the Crab Mentality

There were lots of criticism about a local coach on social media the past couple of days. One of his athletes wrote a long post criticizing him about how badly he was running his coaching business and his compulsive borrowing habits.

This is bad news and would inevitably have implications on the coach-athlete relationship which would in turn compromise the athlete’s growth and performance! Besides, no coach should abuse the trust of their athletes especially given their position of respect and authority (at least most of the time lah…).

It’s not about this coach!   

Just to be clear, I’ve got nothing against this coach (just a little bothered that he is not registered with the NROC) and this post isn’t about him. What bothered me enough to write this are the typical response from the coaching fraternity, and a sprinkle of PE teachers, whenever a coach gets into trouble, or when they are doing well for themselves financially.

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