Discover Your Coaching Zone!

For many high school (and for some college) coaches, the summer months, in particular June and July, offer a nice break from the day-to-day grind of competitions and practices, or from offseason strength and conditioning workouts. It is always nice to step away and recharge the battery; however, we all know that there is no “on/off” button in effective leadership – even in times of rest and leisure, the best leaders are always on a quest to fine-tune their crafts. 

I recently started reading a book called “The Coaching Zone – Next Level Leadership in Sports” by John Yeager and Jon Cunna. Admittedly, I am only one chapter into the book; however, that one chapter, plus my recent Zoom conversation with John Yeager, have me chomping at the bit for more! I highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself – you can visit The Coaching Zone website to learn more and to purchase your copy.

Between my Zoom conversation with JY and the tremendous start to the book, I know I am in for a fun and engaging read. The authors utilize a great mix of meaningful content and storytelling to create an extremely valuable resource for coaches who recognize the critical role they play in the development of athletes beyond the “x’s and o’s”. Trust me, this will be a book that is hard for you to put down!

This article is designed to share a few simple, yet impactful, exercises that are introduced in “The Coaching Zone”. The exercises will serve as great opportunities to reflect upon who you are as a coach and why you coach.

#1: The Storytelling Exercise

Enhance your storytelling ability using the SARI structure introduced by John and Jon! Think of an event that has impacted your coaching and break it down using the SARI structure:

  • Situation (who, what, where, and when)
  • Action (initial event and your action and/or reaction)
  • Results (what came from your action/reaction?)
  • Insights (what did you learn?)

Download or Print the Storytelling Exercise PDF

#2: The Personal Coaching Narrative Exercise

Dive into the events (stories) that have shaped who you are as a coach/leader to develop your own personal coaching narrative. In this exercise, you will be asked to reflect upon:

  • Your attraction to coaching
  • Personal celebratory and prideful moments in coaching
  • What inspires your coaching

Download or Print the Personal Coaching Narrative Exercise PDF

#3: Coaching Strengths Exercise

The most effective coaches/leaders understand that they, along with their staff and athletes, each have unique strengths and challenges. As JY states in the book, “the more aware we are of the things we do well, the greater the chance that we can use them for good”. In this exercise, you will:

  • Identify strengths you commonly use in your coaching
  • Identify strengths you wish you had more of in your coaching
  • Identify the “shadow side” of your strengths. Shadow side being defined as when you utilize a strength in excess

Download or Print the Coaching Strengths Exercise PDF

Productive Summer FUNN!

Take advantage of the summer down-time to sharpen your coaching and leadership skills with “The Coaching Zone” from John Yeager and Jon Cunha – you won’t regret it for a single second!

John Yeager and Jon Cunha boast over 50 years of combined coaching experience and combine their expertise with insights from over 50 coaches to create an extremely valuable resource for coaches who want to forge stronger relationships, strengthen communication, and develop athletes who are tremendous both on and off the field!

John Yeager and Jon Cunha, 2021, The Coaching Zone – Next Level Leadership in Sports, Yeager Leadership Press,

Learn more about John Yeager and Yeager Leadership at

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