Navy SEAL Coaching Lessons from the Beach – Working with Athletes

Let me tell you a story…

SEALFIT Kokoro 50 Hour Event

It’s sometime around 2 – 4 AM on the beach in San Diego. I’m coaching a group of 30 athletes during a 50 hour event. It’s 55 degrees, there’s a strong side shore breeze and we are rucking south. It’s cold… I’m in a puffy down jacket. All you can hear is the waves crashing in the dark and the sound of wet BDU/s and sloshing boots…
We, the coaches are silent. We know where we are going, we know when the pain will come, we know when the sun rises, we know how hard we can push the athletes…
The Athletes know nothing. They just walk… This is when the negative voices creep in. This is what we call the Darkest Hour… This is when people start to quit.
Your negative voice is what slowly comes in when you are getting pushed to your limits. It’s what makes you start to doubt yourself. It’s what makes you want to QUIT!
Then it happens… “Coach… I’m done… I can’t….” Someone wants to quit.

My reply. “Bad news, you can’t quit, we have no cell service, we are 5 miles from any road, we aren’t taking quitters right now…”

This statement is 100% true. The athlete can quit. BUT…. They still have to get themselves out. They are at a point of no return.
Flash forward 3 hours. The sun is rising, the athlete’s are still rucking. Their BDU’s still wet and sandy, boots still sloshing salt, sand and water.
That same athlete comes up to me… “Thanks Coach, I got this… I’m not going to quit”
My reply… I know and a subtle smile.
The story here is that as a coach, I KNOW what you can do. I can support you through your darkest hour. I can push you past your limits and YOU WILL ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL… You just have to trust the process, shut off your negative voices and COMMIT!!
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