A New Spin on Coaching

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Vocations often define people. So much so, that when introductions are made, they’ll say Mary is a Police Officer, Tom is a therapist, or Kathy is a minister.

These days it’s common to hear of multiple occupational foci. Now the conversation may go, “Bill is an engineer who is also a skilled woodworker,” or “Peggy is a hospital administrator who trains dogs.”

For some dual employment is a necessity for income. Others see it as a cathartic release. Another group pursues side ventures as an enrichment tool with parallels to another or primary activity. Often, all three reasons apply.

NBC News Anchor Lester Holt is an accomplished bass player. “There’s definitely a synergy between doing the news and playing bass,” he says.  “I play a lot of jazz.  A lot of times you’re reading off a chart, but sometimes you’re just using your ear. That’s part of what keeps it interesting, that sense of the unknown.”

“The same holds true for doing the news,” he continues. “Sometimes you’re reading the story, and then it’s breaking news and everything kicks into high gear. You have to have a foundation there, but you also have to be ready for anything and keep it all together.”

Workers with concurrent dual careers adopt a “hyphenated” professional identity.  A “teacher-painter” might refer to an individual who works for nine months as an elementary school teacher and three months out of the year as a painter. A “doctor-potter” might indicate an individual who works as a physician during the day, but is at a ceramics studio at night, pursuing the latter bent for creative fulfillment as well as profit and professional development.

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Tennis star Venus Williams not only freezes opponents with a vicious serve, but she possesses a sharp sense for appealing aesthetics. While honing her tennis skills she enrolled in school and discovered another passion beyond tennis:  design. She wrote on V-STARR Interiors’ website, “Like design, tennis is always moving and changing. Your opponent constantly changes, as well as the courts, conditions, and the tactics. In design each client is different; each design solution is challenging and distinctive.”

The hyphen “-homemaker” or “-caregiver” is suggestive of another type of concurrent multiple career worker.  A “lawyer-homemaker” is an attorney and is also in charge of domestic duties at home.  As adults care for both younger generation children and older generation parents, the “X-caregiver” worker has emerged—where a worker completes the tasks of career-X and simultaneously cares for the needs of the children and elders.

As a Career and Life Coach clients must clarify a vision for what it is they seek to achieve and develop a plan for executing it. Through active listening, attention is given to what the person being coached emotes: what they see, what it sounds like, how it feels. An effective coach establishes a system of accountability with the client in order to help assure the desired end is accomplished.

As a Group Spinning Instructor similar elements apply, the greatest difference being active vs. sedentary engagement. Class participants set a goal for what it is they want to achieve with the ride.  Kinesthetic components apply:  what does the rider feel at the moment they pedal a 45 pound flywheel up a steep gradient?  The music of the ride provides a rhythmic sound.  In the mind it may beckon a memory of another inclined path from youth or maybe from a cherished vacation.

A graduate of the University of North Texas, Kirk McCarley is a Certified Professional Coach as well as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and SHRM-CP Certified. He also is a Production Assistant for both college football and basketball for ESPN and leads group cycling classes as a Certified Spinning instructor. Contact kirk@theseedsowercoach.com, theseedsowercoach.com, or call  314-677-8779.

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