Cheerleaders VS Coaches: Which are you?

And who do you wanna be?

Imagine for a minute that you’re at a professional football game.

In the first half of the game, your team is falling apart.

Embarrassing fumbles, failed plays, and multiple turnovers.

Regardless, the cheerleaders are doing their thing.

“Go! Fight! Win!”

In the second half, the team really comes together.

Multiple touchdowns later, it’s starting to look like one of the greatest comebacks the team’s ever had.

And still, the cheerleaders are doing their thing.

Same chants. Same encouragement. No matter how good or bad the team plays.

The coaches, on the other hand… that’s a different story.

Coaches are not cheerleaders.

Coaches tell players exactly what they’re doing well, and what they’re doing wrong.

They celebrate the wins, but they don’t hesitate to call out a player when they’re making serious mistakes.

Great coaches give specific, constructive feedback on exactly what to improve and how.

Whether you coach people in:

  • business

  • fitness

  • finance

  • relationships

  • a specific skill

You’d be smart to ask yourself… “Am I acting as a great coach, or a great cheerleader?”

Interestingly, the highest paid NFL cheerleaders make up to $75,000/year, while the highest paid NFL coaches make $15M-$20M.

So while there clearly is value in hiring someone to make you feel good all the time…

…having a smart, experienced coach who can tell you exactly what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and what steps to take to improve is worth 267x more. (at least in the NFL)

How do you know if you’re being more of a cheerleader than a coach?:

  • You always encourage, but never critique

  • No matter how good or bad of results they’re getting, you just try to make them happy (instead of giving them steps to take)

  • You can’t seem to increase your price, or even get any paid clients

If this sounds like you, and you’d rather help your clients strategically improve their results… today’s the day you become a coach instead!

If telling a client they’re doing something wrong or ineffective sounds scary, practice with something called a praise sandwich.

  • Compliment something they’re doing well

  • Give them specific advice for how to improve

  • Give another compliment

This way you can balance the constructive criticism with the feel good stuff.

Try it in your next coaching session, then hit reply and let me know how it went for you!


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The interesting thing about coaching is that you have to trouble the comfortable and comfort the troubled.

Ric Charlesworth

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