How to pick a good coach... and a good goal!


One of my favorite movies of all time is Peaceful Warrior, a film based on the Dan Millman classic "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior". It has a lot of things I love: a cantankerous yet wise old mentor, an openly self-interested and head-strong hero, and an overall message that I continually learn about love and letting go.

In the movie version, the student and mentor are knocking back a drink or two when the kid asks why he was chosen to receive the privilege of mentorship. Without batting an eye, the old man says sincerely, "Hey. Don't kid yourself. You chose ME."

This fits in line with many of my simplest belief structures:

One of those beliefs is that we select the love we feel that we deserve. Another is that our challenges were designed to level us up, so life lessons and our struggles force us to grow towards our best selves (aka bringing out the warrior within).

Selecting a route to climb will help you cultivate the qualities you are looking to grow. See my strongman mission for details on why I chose mine.

I went about selecting a coach with the following in mind:

  1. I picked a coach whose strengths matched my weaknesses.
  2. Previously established trust. He had successfully taught me quite a bit in the past.
  3. I needed someone who would hold me accountable. Read: he makes me do things I didn't want to do.
  4. I needed to commit some time, energy and money to training.
  5. Since we are going to be spending a lot of time together, I needed to enjoy our connection.

At the end of the day, I hope some qualities and skills bleed into me. Qualities such as agreeing first, being thorough, and being a "systems" thinker. I want those same qualities.

I also just like hanging out with him, so there's that.

Choosing someone to coach you is like picking a road trip buddy. You gotta be sure you won't kill each other before you have to buy your first tank of gas!

Coach Elizabeth!