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Only the Best Version of Yourself Can Influence Others

Updated: Apr 30, 2019


The teachings and lessons you want your students/athletes to follow must be impersonated by

you first. An overweight nutritionist giving nutritional advice to someone makes no sense. For a

kick-boxing instructor, struggling with your own routine decreases your value as an instructor.

As an athletic trainer, explaining how hard work or “going the extra-mile” is important for

victory becomes a false statement to your players when you don’t exercise your own commands.

You will be amazed how obvious it is to your players or students to realize you do not practice

the things you tell them to execute. Does your personality reflect the character you want your

students to follow? As a leader, it is your duty to find any creative ways to build the trust and

motivation for your group to overcome obstacles. As a matter of fact, most group of students or

athletes need to experience their leader or coach take initiative in difficult moments creating a

ripple effect on your actions.


First, you must truly define where your passion stands. Are you teaching or influencing a group

of people in an activity that you are naturally passionate about? You must aim to make your

To individuals who strive to educate, mentor and

coach others. The focus here is on the process of

self improvement in order to properly influence

those who look up to you. The secret on

becoming the role model you desire to be is to

influence your character first. You must mirror the

advice you give and the habits you want your

students to develop. In order to allow your

students believe that you are passionate about what you teach, even when you are not the best as

it. Self awareness is key to discover and accept your weakness and understand that such

weaknesses, do not define who you are. As a coach it is normal to tell your players what you

suck at. Let’s say you struggle running or staying in shape, your players will not judge you on the

nature of your weakness but rather your reaction towards it. For instance, players will notice that

you run laps with them or even wearing running gear to practice can help. These efforts give

players a sense that you strive for improvement, and as a result, they will strive as well. It is until

then, that students or players will trust your judgement on their own weaknesses and follow your



At a younger age, I remember watching football games noticing how most NFL coaches are

overweight. It did not fit through my head how such complete strong athletes are taking orders

from a coach who probably can’t pick up a dollar bill. As I matured, I came to understand that at

that level, what makes you a great coach is how much you understand the game and how easily

you are able to explain it to your team. Perhaps, this is not the case with younger groups. Youth

players, of any sport, might not understand the true qualities of a coach hence they might only

see the superficial aspects of your persona. They become sponges absorbing every detail of your

mentality and behavior. It is crucial to tackle this natural biased judgement in a positive manner.

Due to maturity levels, an overweight coach may affect youth players more than college players.

Do not misinterpret the message here, coaches do not have to lose 30 pounds in order to become

a youth coach. The idea here is, what perception will your players have of your own weight? Will

they see it as an obstacle preventing you from being a more active coach? Do they see that you

try your best to develop better habits for them to mimic? It is not just your appearance that

affects your players’ perception. Things like anger management, the way you communicate to

parents, organization or even attitude towards failure shape your player’s opinion. Players who

develop a positive perception of their coach tend to be more obedient and stay motivated to

complete difficult tasks that coaches demand.


This concept does not only apply in sports, it

affects teachers in classrooms, company

leaderships, personal trainers, school advisors,

yoga instructors and even parents. In order for

someone to listen to our advice or teachings, you

must be a reflection of them first. You don’t turn

into a hypocrite by giving advice to someone that

you personally not follow, it just decreases

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