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Podcast Reflection - S2 E8 Graham Wardell (Tread Softly Because You Tread On My Dreams)

In series 2 episode 8 of the coaches podcast we spoke to Graham Wardell - head Coach at the City of Cardiff Swimming Club. Graham has previously been Head of Performance at The City of Glasgow as well as Head Coach to Team Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

I found this conversation with Graham a really though provoking 30 minutes or so with Graham really opening up on wha he has learnt through his career. Below are my top 3 take aways from the episode.

Takeaway No. 1

"Take you learning wherever you can get it"

When Graham was discussing is learning and development as a coach, he highlighted the importance of reverse mentoring. Being comfortable learning from those younger than you and perhaps those with less experience as well. You never know when you are going to learn something new so be prepared to find new knowledge in places you might not expect.

Takeaway No. 2

"Tread carefully because you tread on my dreams"

When speaking about working with athletes at the cutting edge of the sport competing at the Olympic Games. Graham quoted a Yeats poem.

"But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

I found this very meaningful to what we do as coaches. When you really stop and think about it, over our career as a coach we will coach thousands of swimmers, but each swimmer will only have 1 shot at their career. So when making our decisions and planning, we must tread carefully because we are treading on their dreams.

Takeaway No. 3

"Do it all sooner"

My final takeaway from the episode was that Graham wished he took the leap into pursuing coaching as a full time career sooner. Coaching is the best job in the world. Don't wait a moment longer than you need to to devote your life to it! You will reap the rewards in a sense of purpose and you will never dread Monday mornings!

You can listen to the full episode on your favourite podcast player or listen below.

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