Job Stressors: What Financial Advisors Can Learn from Athletic Training Coaches

By Dr. Jack Singer

I am honored that I have been invited to address members of the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa), in Dallas, on May 5th. These coaches are unique resources for athletes, as they take responsibility for helping to develop these people for life, as well as in their sport. Although this is a very different profession from financial advising, the similarity of job stressors means both groups can benefit from the same stress mastery skills.

Job Stressors of Athletic Training Coaches

In conducting my pre-program research, I learned that CSCCa members face many challenges and job stressors in their important roles with college athletes. For example, most strength and conditioning coaches are only on one-year contracts, so maintaining job security is an issue. If the head coach gets fired, the strength coach is often part of the “trickle down termination” syndrome that is common with most assistant coaches.

The strength coach must serve athletes as a mentor because he/she often spends more time with the athletes than the position coach does. Counseling skills and helping them with their personal development, on and off the field, are key ways these coaches can impact their athletes. Therefore, trust between the athlete and the coach is critical and must be learned and earned by the coach.

Keeping the head sports coach happy, long working hours, extremely intense environment and preparing athletes to perform at peak levels consistently are additional job stressors.

Finally, getting undisciplined athletes (used to eating what they want, staying up late with their teammates and friends, slacking off on workouts) to understand the value of a disciplined lifestyle for the elite athlete is critical to his/her success on the field and in life.

My plan for these valuable coaches and mentors is to teach them “7 Actionable Skills to Develop the Mindset of a Champion.”

This game plan for success is really a “train the trainers” plan because I will teach these coaches the same skills to develop their own mindsets to meet their challenges that they can then “pass forward” to their athletes.

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Relating My Work With Coaches to Financial Services Professionals

Financial services professionals can certainly relate to the same challenges and job stressors that these coaches face:

  • Job insecurity
  • Mentoring clients and teaching them the basics for overcoming their fears and insecurities
  • Keeping their managers happy, long hours, competition, fiduciary requirements, etc.
  • Maintaining their own discipline in the face of economic conditions, market fluctuations, dealing with unreasonable clients, etc.
  • Moreover, maintaining their core values and their plan with their clients is very challenging during these difficult times.

Because the job stressors of financial advisors and athletic training coaches parallel so closely, I can use my knowledge to help both groups. The same actionable skills that I can teach athletic coaches at the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association event can also be taught to those in finance, helping financial professionals develop the mindset of a world-class advisor.