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Just returned from the ASCA Conference in San Diego, it was great experience. I really enjoyed seeing old friends and just talking coaching for three days. The following is the outline of my Coaching Excellence talk that I gave. It was a huge honor for me to present this since it was the Doc Counsilman memorial lecture. Doc Counsilman was a great swim coach at Indiana and an icon in coaching in general. His work certainly had a huge influence on my career.

Coaching Excellence


Share Provoke Motivate Excite

The Story

“Training the best to be better”

Following the functional path

Think Big Picture

Sustained Excellence

“You do not merely want to be the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.” Jerry Garcia

“A Champion is something you have been and can become – it is never something you are” Bjorn Daehlie

Why is the Dinosaur Extinct?

They were completely adapted!

Why did the cockroach survive?

They are adaptable

Are you adaptable or adapted?

Lessons from “Good to Great”

#1 – First who – then what

#2 – Confront the brutal facts and never lose faith`

#3 - A culture of discipline

#4 – Use technology as an accelerator not a centerpiece

#5 – Good to great does not happen overnight, it is a process


Time Zones

Past >>> Present >>> Future


Be here now! In the moment

Bill Jensen “The Simplicity Survival Handbook”

Say no more often

Question more often

Call Time Out and Whoa more often

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it” Alan Kay


Change is a Constant

Instituting Change

Outside the tent pissing in or inside the tent pissing out


“Walking the Stairway” - Success comes one step at a time

“Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens.” Aldus Huxley

Personal Productivity
Achievement Zones

Comfort >> Performance >> High Performance >> Peak

Mindset – Fixed or Growth

Acceptable is not good enough, it must be exceptional

ICE - Intensity Concentration Effort

“Win the workout”

Often what you do not do is as important as what you actually do!

Seek knowledge rather than information

Specialize in being a generalist

Get a mentor not a guru


Are you training them or are you coaching them?

In organizational life, you can have influence over others or you can have freedom from others, but you can't have both at the same time. Bob Sutton

Start with what you know; then remove the unknowns

Sometimes the best management is no management at all -- first do no harm! Bob Sutton

95 percent of any creative profession is shit work

If everything is equally important, then nothing is very important

Don’t over-think a problem

The rest of the world counts

Failure & Risk

“Fail Forward” – Tom Peters

Keep changing – whether you win or lose

Know your weaknesses - and do something about them

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take” Wayne Gretsky

Believe in yourself – If it is to be, it is up to me!

Call to Action

Be a leader not a follower

Achieve mastery

Beware of Sheep Walking

Free the Lunatic Within!

Take Care of the 98%

Remember it is not about you or me, it is about the ATHLETE

“There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.” Kurt Hahn


At 9/12/07, 5:17 PM, Blogger coachal said...


I just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you in San Diego, and even more, enjoyed and certainly benefitted from your presentations on both Dryland and Coaching Excellence.

Thanks for autographing your latest book, Athletic Development, for me. I have to tell you that I read it cover to cover on my return trip home to CT., and thought it was truly excellent. In fact, of all of the many many texts I've read over my training/coaching career, this book is as close to the single best resource to guide coaches in their pursuit of training/conditioning excellence, as I have ever read. Clearly your presentations at ASCA also reinforced the ideas presented in the book as well.

Please know that despite the frustrations that we all deal with on a daily basis, whether its from our cultural issues and the internet, or whereever, that you are having a positive impact on people and coaches everywhere, every day, and it is making a difference...

I hope to have the opportunity to speak with you again soon.

All the best to you and Melissa and your children...

-Al Lyman


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