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personal development




Having been on the fence about creating this website, I was tipped over the edge this week after hearing a speech at the Building Extraordinary Leaders lunch at St. Bonaventure University.

Dr. Kevin O'Connor, a 1988 St. Bonaventure University graduate and physician to the Vice President of the United States, was the guest speaker. Dr. O'Connor's journey has been an extraordinary one; starting at Bonaventure, going to med school, becoming a trauma surgeon, serving in the military, completing tours with Delta Force, running a family practice and currently serving as a physician in the White House.

I would assume that most of this blog will revolve around coaches, managers and my own coaching education. However, I couldn't help but share some tidbits from Dr. O'Connor's speech and how so many things are transferable from other walks of life into the beautiful game. Here are the three that resonated with me the most:

  • Don't go through life punching your ticket. He used two examples here. The first was that filling your resume with the right things wasn't a guarantee of success. The second, building off of that, was that you should aim to pursue the things that interest you (you'll spend more time at work than with your family - make it worthwhile).
  • Team talk. At times, leaders have to coerce their employees to do things they don't want to. It is important that you don't pretend otherwise. Tell them what it is, sugarcoat it as best you can, and dig in with them wherever possible.
  • Build your brand. This is who you are, your reputation, what you stand for and making sure it is clear for others to see. A Delta Force story accompanied this piece and boiled down to your actions when no one else is watching.

So what did I take away from Dr. O'Connor's talk?

  1. Do the coaching badges, but don't rule out the extra or random areas that you can develop. Better to be an average coach who can communicate well than an excellent technical coach who can't get his point across.
  2. Players know when you're blowing smoke. Concentrate instead on giving them the information and explain the reasoning or lead them to it (Mourinho/guided discovery).
  3. Set out your stall. I'm a technical coach. My goal is technique and improvement driven rather than winning. Player development will eventually result in winning (long-term) whereas concentrating on winning straight away (short-term) can lead to shortcuts and a lack of development.

The last point is the reason I've taken to this website. To build my brand, set out my stall and develop as a coach. Take a look around; this is my internet home, and this is what I'm about.