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What Does Your Needs Analysis Look Like?

Nov 20, 2023

As we continue this series, the second common theme coming through from 160 practitioners in high-performance sport is the inability to have balance in their life.

The cost of this is massive, from divorce, short-term relationships, absent parent, physical and emotional illness.

A head of performance told me:

"My relationship broke down. I'm always away. I'm always down on energy, and unable to see friends and family. I feel guilty that it's my fault, and I'm tired of every human interaction being a transaction. I'm lonely."

There are 3 specific reasons for this:

  1. Chasing the "thing" - They are always thinking about what's next, whether that's career progression, qualifications, CPD, the stages of season, Olympic cycle. This means they rarely celebrate any successes they do get.
  2. Worry about what peers think - Many practitioners have been following a path that's been defined by the perception of what their peers think is successful, rather than their own inner benchmarks.
  3. Lack of voice - huge assumptions being made that standing for what you want based on your values will be perceived as negative. Many coaches feel they can't express any professional concerns or unhappiness. They feel that if they do, they'll lose their job.

The 3 Truths

There are 3 potent truths that we must address:

  1. Sacrificing health and family for work is not an expression of loyalty - It's a sign of poor priorities.
  2. Dedication is not what you give up for your job - It's what you give to your job.
  3. Accomplishments highlight your skills. Relationships reveal your values.


A further quote from a director of performance:

“I was working 6.7 days a week across a 12-month period. I wasn't seeing my kids or my wife and I hit this brick wall that made me realise you know what this isn't right. But before that wall, I couldn't see it and just thought I was leading the way to something important in sport.”

Getting clarity on this requires you to look beyond your role as a coach. Once you do this it allows you to embody the type of coach and career you do want.

I know this process as the "Practitioner Needs Analysis."

You have most likely done many variations of this with the athletes and sports you've worked with over the years.

  • Have you ever turned this process in on yourself?

Doing so allows you to identify what qualities are most important for you to show up in your role, career and life in your fullest expression.

It also provides an inner analysis that highlights the components of your life, giving you clarity on what is blocking you, how it's blocking you and what you need to do to release those blocks.

This helps you to tailor your goals and actions away from potential burnout, divorce or illness, and instead towards one where you thrive as a practitioner and in your home life.

Click here to read a detailed overview of the Practitioner Needs Analysis.

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