Looking back with a new vision of my sports experiences has also coincided with my healing journey in life. Through my past sports endeavours, I experienced a lot of what I understand now to be very unhealthy and unbeneficial to my growth and thriving as a human being. For over ten years now, I have been folding back and observing things about sports at a much deeper level. In continuing to move through my healing process, I’ve received an invitation, again and again, to re-orientate myself back to my heart. This is where I can view things in a much clearer and more balanced way. And when I have listened quietly, especially in recent years, I can hear the guidance being offered to me, urging me to see the antidotes to the problems I see in sports. This quest originated within me like an uncarved block of marble and began to take shape when I contemplated more deeply the following questions:
What is the purpose of sport?
What is safety in sports?
What types of inner states must a coach and a leader cultivate to best impact those around them positively?
Where do coaches and leaders go when they need direction and growth themselves?
One of the lessons I learned when I worked as a cook aboard a tall ship was the importance of having a sense of direction and stability. Over time as I continued to chip away at the block, a beautiful concept and direction began to take shape, which I’ve called The Coaching Compass.
I have found that working with athletes alone to develop their on-field toolboxes as players has not been enough to create lasting positive change for them within this current, at times, very toxic sports environment. In my work with developing coaches, I've also seen that teaching coaches skills such as preparing an athlete to shoot the ball better or creating more goal-scoring opportunities is also not enough. It is incomplete because it fails to provide solutions for people to counter the unhealthy and inappropriate elements that today’s athletes are experiencing. Too many times, I have watched coaches blaming their athletes for their inability to improve or blaming their team for their lack of performance when the reality is that there is another, more fundamental element undermining their progress.
The truth is that coaches and leaders can only pass on to their teams and athletes what they have been exposed to and understand.
The Coaching Compass was born from this realization. The Coaching Compass is a purpose-driven and heart-centred mentorship approach to coaching education. It is meant to provide direction, helping to guide coaches and leaders toward creating a safer environment for their athletes by directing sports with more wisdom and care.
The Coaching Compass Curriculum blends leadership and inner-development principles with technical coaching development elements because both aspects complement each other.
Module 1 of The Coaching Compass will be our first offering within The Coaching Compass Curriculum. It is the foundational level of the curriculum, providing a framework and teachings to support coaches in building more awareness and clarity as leaders. Module 1 is designed for coaches of all levels—more about the launch of the first program in the coming weeks.
When people are willing to grow, The Coaching Compass will help them discover a new approach and orientation toward an elevated way of leading and coaching within sport and life to achieve more impactful and meaningful outcomes for themselves and their athletes.
Like lotus flowers, beautiful things appear through the muck and the mire if we are willing to look deeper within ourselves.
With care and respect for you on your journey,
Founder of Andrea Neil Coaching and The Coaching Compass