Every Batter Needs a Coach

When was the last time you focused  on yourself and your professional expertise?

I recently had the privilege of spending two days with the incomparable Lou Heckler. I was first introduced to this legendary professional speaker at a National Speakers Association convention a few years ago. Lou was one of the convention’s keynote speakers and he hit it out of the park! He used baseball as an analogy for achieving peak performance. His story- telling, delivery, and message left me wanting to learn more. Last month, I traveled to Gainesville, FL to work with Lou. Over two days, we crafted a keynote speech that I’ll deliver in support of the release of my new book. In our time together, Lou challenged me, encouraged me, and helped me see endless possibilities.

Lou reminded me that we all deserve to have someone in our lives who is committed to helping us improve. While I serve as a coach to leaders every day, Lou reminded me of the importance of having a  coach too. My time spent with Lou taught me so much. In particular, Lou offered:

Thought-provoking perspectives – As a result of his years of experience in television and on stages across the globe, he was able to help me see angles and opportunities that I didn’t know existed. Who offers you perspectives that you’d otherwise not consider?

Squirm-worthy challenges – Like any good coach, Lou had me squirming in my chair a few times. As he challenged me, nervousness set in. Yet, that’s what I wanted him to do. We all need to be challenged once in awhile. Otherwise, we will never reach our full potential.

Inspiring encouragement – Just when the pressure to perform became almost too much to bear, Lou was right there with encouraging words. “I know you can do this, Marnie.” “You have talent.” “You have a bright future.” Don’t we all need to hear these words once in awhile?

Abundant illustrations – Lou is a master story-teller, and effective coaches usually are. As soon as I got stuck on an idea or concept, Lou would pull out a funny story, a pertinent example, or a personal experience that helped me move beyond the hurdle.

Model-worthy archetypes – Lou Heckler is the type of guy you want to be like when you’re a speaker. He’s witty, quick, warm, and real. For me, he demonstrates a model to which I can aspire. Great coaches do that. They provide you an example so you can clearly see the path before you.

I’m really lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Lou and more importantly, I hope you have a Lou to whom you can turn. We all need someone who will challenge us to move beyond our comfort zone and encourage us to try out new skills. We all benefit from receiving honest feedback when it is shared with the intent to help. Who’s your Lou?

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