Lessons From The Winter Olympics

Posted on March 26th, 2018 by John Hackett

The Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics are now in the 2018 history book.

The Olympic Games do provide a key perspective on a key ingredient for achieving success for your organization.

The Winter Olympics

A principle-based coach is the key to the Winter Olympics' success and also organizational success. Many organizations report a key factor in increased productivity and retention is having a coach to encourage and support productivity. One major factor to the success of the Olympic athlete is the relationship with their coach. This fact is supported by various Olympic Committees’ research and personal reports of athletes.

The International Olympic Committee reported in a 2016 article: “A coach plays a key role in an athlete’s entourage, The quality of the relationship between the coach and the athlete has a crucial effect on the athlete's satisfaction, motivation, and performance.”


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The Canadian Olympic Committee(COC) Chair Chris Overholt told the Toronto Star in 2012:, “they’re[Coaches] so much the backbone of athletes’ planning and preparation and key performances."

The Scientific American reported in a 2016 article on a British study of 16 Olympic athletes who won medals and 16 Olympic athletes who did not win medals: “What differentiates a super elite (Medal winner) from someone who competes at the Olympics but goes home empty-handed? It can come down to the coach-athlete relationship. All athletes report technical support, but the difference was the positive relationship and support.”

Olympian Adam Rippon stated in a CNBC interview he had failed to make the 2010 and 2014 teams and lived in his coach’s basement, penniless. He was turned down for a car loan. "My coach co-signed on the lease so that I could keep the car and he said: 'I trust you. And I trust that you're going to work hard.'"

Rippon went on to make the team as the oldest USA figure skating rookie since 1936 and medaled.

The Olympics highlight the importance of engaging a principle-based coach who builds relationships with people to increase and support their performance. The DSWA  coaching principles of Service, Trust, Authenticity, Integrity, and Respect (STAIR) are a perfect and proven ingredient for your organization's success if you are an individual entrepreneur or large organization. The use of a principle-based coach may be the stairs to a new level for your organization.


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About the Author

John Hackett, Ed.D is an accomplished and experienced coach, trainer, and leader in a variety of nonprofit and direct sales settings. He has 45 years of professional experience serving as professor, licensed counselor, and high school administrator, as well as a university administrator. John is a DSWA Certified Trainer and can be reached at john@dswa.org.