Building Your Inner Coach by Brett Ledbetter (Full Transcript)

Brett Ledbetter, founder of Filmroom Project, on Building Your Inner Coach at TEDxGatewayArch – Transcript

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Brett Ledbetter – Founder, Filmroom Project

Fifteen coaches, 8700 plus wins, 200 plus conference championships and 21 national championships. The past few years I’ve gone across the country to interview and observe these coaches, to figure out what it is they all have in common. And if I had to boil it down to one sentence, it would be that they focus less on the result, more on the process but they recognize that character is what drives the process, which drives the result.

What does that mean? And how does that apply to you guys? And how can that improve your life and your performance? Those are the questions I’m going to try to tackle with this talk. So we’re going to start here.

Do you know the voice inside your head, your inner most thoughts that nobody else has access to except for you? My mentor, Dr. Jim Loehr, calls that your private voice. He’s going to take it a step further.

[Dr. Jim Loehr: How helpful is that private voice? Is it a voice you would be proud to have displayed on the wall particularly during tough times? How does it speak to you? Is it really a coach that is really giving you very strong positive messages that help you? Or is it actually working to break you down, to actually cause you more grief, more pain, more stress? And once you begin to realize that voice is almost always saying something and then to begin to take more responsibility for how that voice is actually speaking to you and to realize that this voice will be the only voice that’s with you until your death. We want that voice to be someone who is a contributor to your life.]

So if we had to sum up what Jim said, it’d be that your private voice can either help you out or break you down. But it’s the only voice that’s with you until your death. I want you to put yourself in this situation, you’re in a game, your whole student body is watching you, things are going bad for you, things are going bad for your team. What if in that moment the thoughts that you were thinking scrolled across the bottom of the scoreboard for everyone in the gym to see, how would that make you feel?

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The interesting thing about this is when we think negatively, not only are we competing against our opponent, who else are we competing against? Ourselves, so we have to turn our private voice into our inner coach so that when we go through those tough times, our inner coach can guide us through them.

What I want to do is I want to show you a real life example of what that looks like. And it’s from one of my all time favourite college basketball games. We’re going to pick things up with four seconds left in the game. So Butler has the basketball on the baseline. They’re in white. They’re down one against Gonzaga, who’s in blue. Let’s see how this plays out.

[Video Clip]

That fires me up every time I see it. But here’s the deal, the reason I love that is because those last two plays were the exact opposite of one another. The first one was an example of failure; the second one was an example of success. So what I want to do is I want to watch those clips one more time but this time I want to call your attention to Butler’s head coach — Brad Stevens. So you’re going to see him, he’s right there. I want you to keep your eye on him the whole time. Watch his body language, as his player travels.

[Video Clip]

So how would you describe it? I think it was pretty calm, would you guys agree? Now 99 out of 100 games, when your player travels, when you guys are down one with four seconds left, you’re going to lose that game. But what did he do? He calmly walked over to the bench, subbed his player in and got ready mentally for what? The next play.

So now I’d like to call your attention to Brad Stevens one more time. I want you to watch his reaction as his player hits the game winning shot.

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[Video Clip]

How awesome is that? The reason I love that is because what? He handles it exactly the same way as he handled the failure. So despite all the chaos that’s going on around him, he’s able to maintain discipline with his emotions. I’m going to show you guys how to do that, which is why you guys have those note cards.

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