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Coaching Tip

Arrived Centered, by Cathy Bolger

"Getting ready to train or coach, is similar to getting ready to compete in an athletic event."

I have always treated my training and coaching engagements like I treat athletic events in terms of PRF (Preparation, Rest, and Focus). I decided to ask colleagues about their approaches. Specifically I asked, "What do you do to show up balanced and in optimal physical, emotional and spiritual health?" Below I grouped their responses into five categories.


  • Get a good night's sleep (whatever you have to do).

  • Clear the mind, turn off electronic devices by 9 pm.

  • Be well prepared.

  • Take a walk and think through training/coaching.

  • Arrive early.

  • Check training room and equipment ahead of time.

  • Drink coffee.

  • Follow your routine.

  • Focus on learners' needs.

  • Have a mindset of service.

  • Remind yourself, "It is not about you."

  • If out of sorts, write down emotions.

  • Help participants feel good about themselves (minimum 3/1 in positive direction).

  • Remind yourself of your strengths.

  • Be kind, we don't know what is going on in the lives of the learners.

  • Create a good day for the learners.

  • Create the energy you want in the room.

On the way to the event
  • Warm up voice by singing or humming.

  • Deep breaths

  • Listen to music.

  • Be present.

  • Catch yourself if you are slipping from your best self, record emotions at break.

  • Be aware of the energy and emotions in the room, surface as needed.

  • Try to connect with everyone, use everyone's first name at least once.

  • Live a life of meaning, challenge, gratitude and pleasure.

  • Eat right, exercise, rest, spend time with friends, take time for self.

  • When stresses accumulate, temporarily compartmentalize, to be at one's best.

If you are reading this, you probably have your own ideas and methods. How do you prepare to show up at your training and coaching engagements, and what can you add to the above list?

Cathy Bolger is a San Diego-based consultant specializing in Presentation Skills, Meeting Skills and Conflict Management Skills. She can be reached at Cathy@CathyBolger.com or 619 284-2511.

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