10 Ways Writing Makes You a Better Coach

1/ Writing improves your thinking.

Writing is the medium in which thinking takes place.

If you can’t articulate an idea in writing, you don’t understand it well enough to coach it.

2/ Writing draws out your best ideas.

Paul Graham says to expect most of your good ideas to come after you’ve started writing.

If you never write, your best ideas will remain dormant.

3/ Say more by saying less.

My final drafts are shorter than my first drafts.

As the ideas get compressed, the insights pop off the page.

When you coach, say what you need to say and nothing more.

4/ Get to the point.

Your first sentence should grab the reader.

Short sentences are better than long ones.

Avoid putting multiple thoughts in one sentence.

Most coaches are long-winded. Don’t be.

5/ Good writing creates emotional resonance.

You want your audience to be thinking about what you said today, tomorrow.

Invent your own phrases. Make things memorable. The shorter the better.

Remember: players remember how you made them feel.

6/ Leave room for interpretation.

Good writing gives the reader grey area to work through by not explaining everything.

Let the reader (and your players) do some of the work of figuring out what they should do.

7/ Speak in problems and solutions.

Nobody cares what you can do, everybody cares what you can do for them.

Speak to the reader’s/player’s problem and show them how you can help them solve it.

8/ Writing leverages your time.

Writing is asynchronous. You write today and the reader consumes it without you there.

To leverage your time, you need to find a way to communicate asynchronously.

This is the great coaching secret.

9/ The best story wins.

We’re suckers for good stories.

Whenever you can, learn to convey your point in a story. The more personal, the better.

10/ Good writing takes time.

Thomas Mann said that “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

When you write, time slows down, allowing you to focus your attention many layers deeper than our default while going through a day.

Similarly, your coaching journey is a marathon, not a sprint.

Take a breath. Don’t fall prey to the cult of busyness or hurry.

Bonus ideas from the community:

Some readers chimed in with their experiences about how writing has helped them become a better coach. Here’s what they had to say:

Drew Carlson wrote that:

Good writing connects.

Connects people to ideas.

Connects people to people.

Starts conversations. Builds relationships.

I can’t tell you how many amazing people I’ve met since I started writing. Spot on, Drew!

Cody Royle noted that writing is a great tool for improving your thinking:

Writing allows you to receive peer review / have others build on top of your ideas, which sharpens your thinking even more.

TJ Wharton resonated with point #10:

I like #10. It slows down the thoughts in your head so you can better interpret them.

TJ Manastersky made a great point that writing helps you appreciate nuance:

As much as writing brings clarity to ideas and helps cement your philosophy, it also highlights there are no absolutes.

What about you?

If you write, I want to hear how it’s helped you grow! Shoot a response to this tweet and let me know.

Thanks for reading!

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