Lessons in Leadership and Life


Coaching Kids and Adults, is there a difference?

Originally posted on August 12 2010

As some of you know, I am coaching my daughter’s 5 and 6 year old soccer team.  I along with Coach Micheal decided to coach our girl’s soccer team this season.  As the season is coming to an end, I can honestly say I have truly enjoyed every minute with our kids and believe whole heartedly that being a coach or mentor is one of the most rewarding feelings in life.  The interesting thing is, that while I was coaching our kids, I reflected on my years of coaching business owners and found some interesting observations.

Here are some of the similar observations I have about coaching kids and adults.

1.  Those who want to learn……DO!

Every adult and kid who wants to master business or soccer respectively, will listen more attentively and learn quicker.  Some of the business owners I coached were anxious to listen andlearn and implement our plans and discussions into practice.  Similarly, several of our kids listened attentively to our discussions about the basics of soccer, retained the information and applied it at our game or the next practice.  Conversely, the business owners who did not take our meetings seriously, struggled and did not seem interested in what we were doing.  They were hoping I would come in and do all of the work and they didn’t really care to improve themselves.  I noticed this with our soccer team as well.  For example, a few of the kids have learned that when a ball goes out on the sideline, it means a throw in and they anxiously run to the ball to throw it in.  Others, I notice are looking around to see what everyone else is doing or not even paying attention.

2.  Those who work or play because they have to, don’t have FUN!

The business owners I worked with that enjoyed our time together, liked what they did, the projects we were working on, and had big goals, also had a lot of FUN.  I remember one of my clients who had an IT business, would always come to our meetings with great ideas and enthusiasm about his business and the potential.  He enjoyed learning and had FUN doing it.  The rewards were equally enjoyable and he saw increases in his revenue and the quality of his clients.

I know these kids are 5 and 6 and just out to have FUN, but it is easy to envision some of the more attentive and enthusiastic players in years to come.  I believe we may have a few great future soccer players. I believe there is a transistion point when a kid decides what they enjoy doing and don’t and then switch.  Is it possible when you become an adult?  Absolutely, I call this the SWITCH.


I always found it difficult to understand why business owners continue to do work they do not enjoy.  What struck me as even more strange was that they were making less money than someone in a corporate environment selling their service or product.  I understand sometimes life puts you in certain circumstances and you think you don’t have a choice, but that is absolutely FALSE!  Loans can be repaid, bankruptcies happen, and as long as you have the necessities you will survive.  You may not be able to flip a switch and sell yourbusiness and get a job, but you can plan to make a change.  On average we live 85+ years, which we all agree flies by, so why be miserable?


I once consulted with an Architect who had his own business and was struggling to find his niche and make money.  We met a few times and through those meetings, we decided that we would try a few different strategies to see if we could increase his revenue and if he could find his niche.  Over a 2 month period we tried numerous strategies and realized that he really didn’t want to own a business.  After he made this decision, he asked me to meet with him at Starbucks.  Surprisingly, he poured out his thanks to me for listening to him and helping him realize he didn’t enjoy having a business and would look into other options and make a SWITCH.

COACH RUSTAM’s Playbook:

Here are some of my SWITCHES:

1.       I was once a Pre-Med student at UF and switched to Engineering.

2.      After 8 monthsquit my first nice salary job to get my MBA.

3.      I quit a great position with an Engineering firm to start a consulting business.

4.      I quit consulting to join a promising business.


I am truly blessed with all of my opportunities and challenges and love coaching.  The interesting thing I realized after coaching my daughter’s team, is that we have the ability from a very early age to realize weather or not we will really enjoy something or if we will be good at it.  This ability is carried with us throughout our whole life, but it becomes more difficult (not impossible) to act on it.  I truly believe it is important in our lives, to have mentors, wives, husbands, parents, and friends to coach us to have a healthy, happy and fun life!

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