GAINcast Episode 220: Love and coaching (with Jerry Lynch)

Great coaches have one thing in common that we don’t talk about much: they demonstrate love in their coaching. You hear about passion, you hear about drive, and you hear about communication, but we often avoid talking about love. Dr. Jerry Lynch has spent his career working at the intersection of sports psychology, leadership, and philosophy. This is where you find many of the hidden topics like love that can be the biggest drivers of performance. On this week’s GAINcast Lynch joins us to share some of his reflections on coaching, self-improvement, and Buddha.

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Notes and quotes

Dr. Jerry Lynch is the founder and director of Way of Champions, a human growth and performance consulting group geared toward helping others master the inner mental and spiritual game for sports, business and life. He brings decades of experience consulting on sports psychology, leadership, performance, and more to various sports and teams such as North Carolina, Duke, Maryland, California, Syracuse, Stanford, Harvard and Middlebury. In the past 30 years alone, he has been part of 55 Final Four and 39 National Championship teams at the collegiate and professional levels.

  • 0:00 – Introduction.
  • 4:15 – Reminiscing on first encounters and a different time in the world of sports psychology.
  • 7:30 – Finding the courage to pursue his own path in his life: “I’m not interested in making a living, I’m interesting in making a difference.”
  • 11:30 – Background and education.
  • 16:45 – The roots of sports psychology: “There’s a societal image of psychology. If you hire a psychologist you must have had something seriously wrong with you, rather than just wanting to be seriously good.”
  • 20:00 – The power of philosophy: “You never forget philosophy. It is something that creeps into your spiritual nervous system and you behave in certain ways because the thoughts have permeated your soul. It’s the same with coaching or parenting.”
  • 24:00 – Love in coaching: “The greatest most profound success strategy that any coach can use is when you demonstrate love. Your athletes will go the distance for that.”
  • 32:15 – Passion vs. love: “You can be passionate about a process, but love is about people.” “Love isn’t about sitting back and letting it flow. You can be the flow. You need to really demand; that’s a sign of love.”
  • 36:20 – Being a better version of you.
  • 38:45 – Changing with the times as a coach and stories about Anson Dorrance.
  • 49:00 – The competitive Buddha: “The competitive Buddha is almost an oxymoron. But competition it is not about butting heads, it is about cooperation and coming together to seek greatness. Competition pushes you to the highest level.”
  • 56:30 – Way of Champions conference.

To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic: