On the Right Track
Okay, let's talk about the elephant in the room ... three weeks from now when I graduate from Ohio University, I have NO IDEA what I will be doing with my life, however I do believe I'm on the right track. It's a question I get asked daily as I'm sure many people do when they are approaching the end of school. This time it feels different. When I graduated from Laurier in my undergrad, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to stay in Waterloo and work for the athletics department as the Strength & Conditioning Coordinator. An easy transition into the "real world", but now I don't have that same luxury of knowing exactly where I'm going or what I will be doing.
At the beginning of the year it caused some serious stress, but something I told myself to do this year was to be more present. I am a futuristic person; always thinking ahead and always thinking about what's next. I figured if I only had one year here at Ohio University, then I have to shift my mindset and enjoy every minute, not always constantly thinking about what's to come. Do I secretly freak out sometimes not knowing where I'm going to be? Yes. Have I done a better job at being more present this year? Yes. Uncertainty is something I've had to do a better job at accepting because at this point, I have no other choice.
That's what makes the coaching world so interesting. You never know where you're going to end up and you have to know to go with the flow. I'm in the process of trying to figure out whether I'd like to stay at the collegiate level or work private sector. Both have their pros and cons and it's up to me to figure out what suits me best.
Note: I always love to hear insight from other coaches so feel free to comment below with your thoughts on collegiate vs. private sector or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even though I'm feeling a little lost at the moment, I do know for certain that I'm on the right track. A few years back, I went to breakfast with my favourite life coach (my mother). We sat there and chatted about what I saw in my future as I was in my 4th year at Laurier at that point. She flipped over the place mat and started to doodle as I talked. My ultimate goal was to be a strength and conditioning coach, and although it's important to not "wear too many hats", I want to be a multi-dimensional coach. I want to be a coach that can help an athlete with more than just getting stronger.
By the end of our 2-hour breakfast date, we came up with this ...
I have this saved on my phone and refer back to it constantly. I've started to narrow down exactly what sports I'd like to focus on (though I am always open to working with any type of athlete), I've started to figure out my motivation tactics, I am currently completing my masters in coaching, and just officially signed up to complete my Precision Nutrition Level-1. I feel pretty good about what I've accomplished so far but I am far from satisfied. I know there is lots of work to be done, but I am confident that things will happen as they should.
All I can do is continue to work, learn from the people I am surrounded by, and believe that things happen for a reason. Am I little nervous? Yes. Am I excited? Absolutely. The grind is not easy and I know every coach (and person for that matter) hits a weird transition point in their life that leaves them a little confused, but I'm sure it's all part of the growing process.
It's time for me to knock out my Athens to-do list and continue being present in every moment as my days here are numbered. It is also time for me to embrace uncertainty and trust the process.