Audio #045: How to embrace struggle and successfully mentor future NFL stars with Nick Winkelman

Die Flowgrade Show mit Max Gotzler Podcast22.06.17 16:44 Uhr

#045: How to embrace struggle and successfully mentor future NFL stars with Nick Winkelman

Ever wondered what it takes to coach and mentor successful professional athletes such as future NFL players or national team level Rugby players? Then this episode with highly sought after coach Nick Winkelman is for you.

As a young and ambitious athlete in the NCAA Division I, the highest level in collegiate basketball, I had a reputation to be quite a hot head. I routinely got in elbow fights with opponents, shouting matches and more, sometimes even my own coaches and teammates. At this point in my life, this was the method I knew to deal with high pressure situations and oftentimes, it didn’t help me. I even went to see a sports psychologist to deal with my anger issues but it still took me quite a while and difficult situations before I learned to control my temper and look for other outlets to deal with stress.

Back then, I never gave much credit to all the help I had received back then coming from coaches, teammates, physical trainers, and also my girlfriend back then. I never thought about how much went into coaching me and the other players on my team. If you think, coaching is easy, then you will certainly change your mind after this podcast episode with former NFL Draft Combine Coach and current performance coach for the Irish National Football Team Nick Winkelman.

Nick Winkelman is a natural learner and highly curious about the newest research and methods to deal with his athletes. I was amazed by the diverse amount of information he employs to get better as a coach and a person. In this episode, we dig into his coaching process and what methods he uses to assess his athletes. We talk about dealing with difficult players, the psychology of learning, how to deal with struggle and which two qualities he values most. Moreover, you will find out how to separate good from bad research, which books and podcasts Nick recommends and the one advice he would give to all young trainers and coaches.

As a former athlete, I greatly enjoyed this episode but even if you’re not from the world of sports, you will be able to take a bunch of insights away from this highly motivating episode.



Show Notes

2:50 - On the difference between implicit and explicit learning

7:30 - The four Ps to successfully coach an athlete

11:10 - How Nick deals with difficult NFL prospects

19:10 - Humility and Resilience: Two qualities that predict a successful athlete

25:00 - Inspirational podcasts, blogs and books

31:20 - Where coaches get most of their information and how to identify good research

39:00 - How to build friendly and professional relationships between coaches and players

41:00 - Nick's favorite morning routine

43:30 - One advice to young coaches




Drills that make someone aware of the error gives them the possibility to self-correct.

What motivates an athlete and why is tremendously important.

Once I understand position, pattern, power and psychology, I can then start to design my approach.

I lead them to the water but don't force them to drink it.

If athletes do not have early success, they start having a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you don't focus on something, you can be distracted by anything.

Why would I potentially throw an amazing opportunity away by not giving my best.

There has never been an NFL Combine day where I didn't think I'm gonna throw up.

I'm not a huge sports fan, I'm a fan of movement.

One of the most important qualities for an athlete is humility.

Only in giving their best to the small things, they give birth to the big things.

People who don't think they have control, bring up the term "luck" quite a bit.

You have to look at challenge as opportunity.

Struggle needs to be re-contextualized as opportunity.

Self-awareness is the substance of learning how to learn.

Don't judge your emotions, notice them.

Only 1.8% of coaches get information from scientific evidence and over 90% from Facebook feeds.

Look at what your circles of importance are and find ways to spend time in them.

Perfection is not an end state, it's a process.

Embrace the struggle because the struggle is a stepping stone on the way to perfection.

The biggest book that is popular in the NFL is Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday.




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Maximilian Gotzler

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