Life is a journey. We all end up in different situations. Sometimes the destination is wonderful and sometimes it’s terrifying. We all handle life different. You take many decisions every day - these small or big decisions is your future and what makes your life.
I have had so many amazing experiences in my life: Coaching athletes to attend, taking medals and winning the European Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games. Breaking Swedish and World Records. Seeing athletes developing to their potential. At the same time I have felt lonely even though I have met many interesting people and have ”friends” all around the world. Why? Because I haven’t been able to understand who I am. I have been living my life through other people. Not listening to my own heart.
Being a coach is about getting other people to perform? If they don’t perform - I thought I was nothing. If they performed good I thought I was successful. I became a coach very early in my life. I took a lot of responsibility. I became what and how I needed to be towards the athletes I trained - because I wanted them to reach their potential.
My way to help people realize what i takes is not just to tell them: Because words are only words - not so effective. I think a lot of athletes know how to be - but some of them can’t manage to do what it takes. I think the most effective way to get them to understand and implement that lifestyle in their lives is to be a good role model and create a relationship with them. In some ways - yes - I try to manipulate their way of thinking and put my own needs to the side. It’s a powerful and sometimes dangerous quality to be able to use. Life becomes just a tool to perform - I realized that life is so much more than that.
I don’t want to force the athletes i coach to do anything. I want them to take the decisions and the responsibility on their own. I’ll try to tech them what’s necessary and dislike bad behavior. We all make misstakes and do bad decisions - but I think it’s important to learn from them. And if you make bad decisions repeatedly it affects your performances and who you are.
Some coaches take completely control over the athletes they coach: that’s an interesting way. Then the athlete becomes a tool for the coach to be successful. Some coaches and athletes believe in this system. I understand that it can be easy to just do what you are being told and not think by yourself - but I think it’s important to know who you are and be able to take decisions on your own.
I’m certain we are many coaches in the world living through other people. We get satisfaction from their performances and we do almost anything to get the athletes we coach to perform good - because otherwise we think we are dead.
I know this is obvious for some of you out there: I’m just starting to understand that to be able to take my own decisions - know what I want and what I like - is essential for me to love myself. I believe that if I don’t love myself - it’s difficult to love somebody else.