Last week’s journal entry was around the subject of contribution. I have had lot’s of nice messages on the blog with many stating they are reflecting how they view their contribution. That is the exact reason I write blogs and post on social media. All I want people to do is reflect on how they currently think and/or what they do. It is not for me to tell you how to think or what to do. That is not my style and it never will be.
So, with contribution still ringing in my ears, I thought I would show you the breakdown of the four areas I believe most of us spend our time. I have recently reflected on how much I contribute in these areas and I wondered if you would do the same.
I believe a coach is, in essence, a helper of people. There are four main areas we spend our time helping people;
Partner (if you have one)
I see many coaches who are so into their work that they don’t get as much time as they could to be with their partner, family and friends. Their desire to make a difference in tennis often comes at a price in the other areas.
My question to you is, do you believe you could contribute more effectively at work if you had a better divide in your time with your family and friends? Do you believe you would be a better coach if you contributed more in the other three areas? Do you believe you could contribute more to helping your family and friends if you had more time and/or energy when with them?
I had an interesting comment from a friend and colleague last week. He interpreted, based on my blogs, that I had become less ambitious than I used to be. He viewed me as being more driven in my 20’s and 30’s than I am now. I asked him why he thought that and he replied, because a lot of my writings are based around people having a healthier perspective and he believes if you want to be the best you have to sacrifice a lot.
I do not believe in sacrifice, I believe in investment!
As I wrote last week, I invest my time and efforts into different areas of tennis in the hope this contributes and adds value to each area. If I viewed my time as a sacrifice I believe I would become bitter at what I am missing out on in the other areas of my life. I don’t see this as a healthy mindset.
The sad reality is, the vast majority of us tennis coaches, spend way more time at work than we do with our family and friends. Let’s do some simple math from people with, so called, normal jobs.
Get up at 7.00 and leave home at 8.30, get home from work at 5.30 – 1.5 hours at home – 9 hours away
Go to bed at 11.00 – 5.5 hours at home
Repeat this 5 days a week – 45 hours away from home – 35 hours at home
Weekends – wake at 8am – sleep at midnight – awake 16 hours per day x 2 – 32 hours at home
Potential time at home – 67 hours to be with family and/or friends – 45 hours away working
Now let’s compare this with a tennis coach who has a partner who has a normal job.
Coach wakes at same time as partner and spends 1.5 hours with them before they leave for work.
Coach leaves for work at lunchtime and gets home at 10.00pm. Partner goes to bed at 11.00. Time spent with partner – 2.5 hours a day
Coach works every week day and 1 weekend day – weekend day – spends 5-6 hours with partner.
Day off for coach – spends 16 hours with partner.
Tennis coach hours with family and/or friends per week – 34.5 hours – 32.5 hours less than a ‘normal’ couple.
Now, let’s reflect in how much of those 34.5 hours the tennis coach will feel they contribute in any positive way. The 1.5 hours before their partner leaves for work will largely be spent getting ready and having breakfast. Quality time will be at a minimum. The coach may even sleep through this 1.5 hours.
The one hour at night will be taken up with unwinding and, perhaps, eating.
The weekend evening could be productive and the day off may contribute towards the relationship…. if the coach has the energy to do something fun.
I have aired this view many times in the last few years, tennis coaching is not a healthy industry to work in as we largely work in other people’s social time. I don’t believe we can change people playing tennis in their social time but we could explore healthier models of employment and/or the ways we structure our business models.
For the vast majority of people, tennis does not offer a career path as the majority of people are self-employed or run their own company.
My personal goals are to ensure I contribute as much as I can at work so I can free up more time to be with my family and friends, and equally as important, ensure that time is also spent contributing to a healthy and productive outcome.
I would love to hear what you have to say on this subject as I see the potential in us sharing so we can help each other have a healthier perspective on how we can contribute in tennis.
Please get in touch if you have found solutions to these challenges as we are in danger of putting off people from entering a career in our amazing sport. Together we can make a difference.