“But, training is my easiest and fastest way to get James some help,” Marie protested. “I told you I don’t have time to coach.”
“There is a short story about someone, at midnight, looking for the keys they dropped in the parking lot,” I started. “Where did you drop your keys was the question. Over there, by my car, was the response. Then, why are you looking over here? Because there is more light over here.”
“You are saying I am looking in the wrong place?” Marie asked.
“Training is the easiest and fastest. You can shove James off to someone else, but that may not be what James needs. Training only gets you so far. Did you know I was a champion ice skater?”
Marie was surprised at this turn in the conversation.
“Little known fact,” I said. “At least I will be a champion ice skater if you will agree to be my coach. Two things you know about my ice skating behavior – I have a strong right push off the skate, and my bootlaces are untied. As a habit, I am sloppy about my equipment. The knots in my laces are loose and within minutes, they come apart, the laces drag the ice. As my coach, you want to be positive, but my laces are untied. Do you ignore this weakness, or is it part of your obligation, as a coach, to deliver some negative feedback?”
“Well, yes, I have to tell you to tie your bootlaces,” Marie was hesitant.
“So, I tie my laces, secure. Am I now a champion ice skater?”
“No,” Marie was more sure of her response.
“Training only gets my bootlaces tied. Champions only come through coaching. You have to get my bootlaces tied, but if you want me to be a champion, you have to work with my strong right push. James may understand, through training, about schedules, workloads and capacity, but if you want James to become a champion, it requires coaching.”