Ascender Weekly Vol. 10

Find Your Coach

What I’m Thinking About:

It’s impossible to achieve outsized outcomes without support, feedback, & guidance from others. If Michael Phelps & Roger Federer need coaches to help them enhance their strokes, then you do too.

Often, our goals are less straightforward than winning a race or hitting a tennis ball. In order to find a coach, you first must understand what you need to be coached on. This requires self-awareness that takes time to develop. Even if you know what you want, you must concisely convey what you’re looking for. This might be learning new skills, being a better friend, or learning how to delegate. It’s innately personal; there’s nothing wrong if it takes time to figure out.

Meanwhile, you also need to identify who can best help you. In some cases, this could be even harder than figuring out what you need to work on. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to reach out to anyone in the world. If you find someone that could help, then you owe it to yourself to reach out. Convey why you chose them & how they can help. It’s also important to utilize the people already in your life. Ask your parents, your friends, or family friends. Ask teachers, mentors, or coaches. Anyone can help if they can deconstruct what you’re doing and help you determine how to get to your destination.

This summer, I reached out to performance coach Paddy Steinfort for guidance on living life as a former athlete. Paddy called me. By asking the right questions, he helped me realize what I was looking for. All I needed was a 20-minute conversation & suddenly my trajectory changed. This is what great coaches do. Paddy also shared a story: when Apolo Ohno met his Olympic trainers, he enthusiastically told them to deconstruct him & transform him into a new person. The Greats are constantly changing, always searching for ways to enhance their craft. That’s the mentality you need if you want to reach your total potential.


High standards + assurance is a powerful formula, but ultimately it’s just a statement of expectations. What great mentors do is add two more elements: direction and support. I have high expectations for you and I know you can meet them. So try this new challenge and if you fail, I’ll help you recover. That’s mentorship in two sentences. — Chip & Dan Heath, The Power of Moments


Harley Finkelstein — Tactics and Strategies from Shopify, The Future of Retail, and More (podcast).


Who can you talk to today that will help you find your way?

- Grant