Purpose is a performance enhancer, and it’s our job to help the athletes we coach find theirs.”- Brett Bartholomew

As a sport and performance consultant in training, it is a privilege to be able to wake up every day and work with athletes and performers from diverse backgrounds and seek to help take them above and beyond. It is also a challenge. At times, a very frustrating challenge. For every one person that “gets” what you’re trying to preach (that’s what we do a lot as beginners), it seems that there are two or three who are resistant to what you are trying to say, and this can even (and often does) include the coaches.

Why don’t they just get it?! Gah!

But this isn’t completely their fault (at least, not always). It can also be a result of our own incompetence in working with varied and sometimes challenging personalities. Every consulting opportunity has pushed me deeper into conscious incompetence and I realize how much more I don’t know and still need to learn. With that, comes the drive to improve and the quest to find the resources to help me do better by my clients.

In comes Conscious Coaching: The Art & Science of Building Buy-In.

Published earlier this year (2017), the book is essentially a strength and conditioning coach’s deep dive into the art and science of communicating with athletes to bring out the best in them. It is unique in the way it synthesizes personal and professional experiences and the available science.

According to the author, “Conscious Coaching” is about “figuring out an athlete’s purpose and matching it with an evidence-based coaching process…It’s focused on understanding what really drives our athletes from the inside out so that there’s a shared enthusiasm for what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Well cool, so says every sport psych and coaching book ever. What makes this resource most unique is its approach to doing so.

As sport psych consultants, we learn that successful interactions with our clients are underpinned by our recognition of their individual drives and desires. Once we identify and understand those it becomes easier to align with them and create common goals. But these drives and desires aren’t always immediately apparent and can be hard to discern.

In comes “archetypes”.

According to the book, archetypes are predictable patterns of personality and, when known, can be useful tools in helping the consultant or coach with initially aligning with their client. The bulk of the book is dedicated to explaining 16 common athlete archetypes: their strengths, weaknesses, strategies to connect with each one, and a successful real- world coaching example with each archetype.

While certainly not meant to be an all encompassing and exhaustive resource for working with athletes, it is a uniquely crafted text which provides some great tools for the beginner consultant seeking to connect and make impactful changes in the lives of those he or she works with.

Related readings:

The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene

Influence by Robert. B. Cialdini

What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro & Marvin Carlins

– Alex Beckett –

* This review was not sponsored. All opinions belong to the author of this post.