Last week, I interviewed the incredible Coach Tim Adams. Tim is a sports performance coach who has spent the last 30 years working with the top 1% in their fields - Olympic athletes, world champions, NFL Hall of Famers, MVP’s, Superbowl and Stanley Cup winners. His clients are iconic, household names.
Tim’s success stems from a different coaching approach that he takes with his clients; he wants to stress the system to create resilience. He forces the body to handle more load in order to decrease the chance of injury. In doing so, he created quite a name for himself in professional sports by helping athletes decrease their chance of injury while increasing their longevity.
Tim shared his story and shared with us some amazing lessons along the way.Our interview, “Have You Reached Your Full Potential?” is up on the podcast now. Head here to listen now. http://bit.ly/CHANGEbyCHOICEpodcast
I love doing interviews so much and this one was one of my favorites. It highlighted the main points that I love to emphasize whenever I am interviewing someone - that success requires hard work, it isn’t always easy and doesn’t always feel good. I love highlighting all of the success and achievements that someone has reached, but also love to dig into the journey on how it happened. How did they persevere and push through the tough times? It’s important for all of us to remember, regardless of what we are working towards, that the most successful individuals were not born that way. Everyone has struggles and obstacles that they need to overcome; everyone has to work extremely hard to get to that success.
Coach Tim Adams has achieved some incredible accomplishments and successes in his life and his career. During his time as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the LA Kings, he decreased man games lost due to soft tissue injuries from 83 in the previous two years, to ZERO in the time he was there! He has coached and produced tremendous results with iconic athletes and performers.
Tim shared some really great stories in our interview...plus his two boys, Ryder and Zane, make a few guest appearances and it was so great to see the interaction between them. It’s obvious why Tim says being a parent to his two boys is his greatest accomplishment of his life. Be sure to watch the interview here or listen to it on my podcast for all of Tim’s stories.
What I wanted to share with you guys were a few of my takeaways from my conversation with Tim; as he was telling his story, he dropped some pretty major lessons. The amazing part is that these are lessons that you can apply regardless of who you are, what you’re working towards or what field you are in. These are some universal lessons that helped Tim, and his clients, achieve such incredible success.
1. Help and be helped.
Tim spoke about how lucky he feels to have had the opportunity to coach at the college level, the professional level, Olympians and world champions...but not only coach them, but to learn from them. He helped them improve and yet they helped him improve at the same time. This is how he got to be so great; he was constantly in a place of wanting to learn and improve. Whatever field you are in and whoever you are dealing with - your clients, coworkers, customers, your spouse, your children - make it an intention to help and be helped. Serve at your highest capacity but look for and be open to the ways in which that interaction can also help YOU. This is how we learn, how we grow and how we become great.
2. Don’t shy away from challenges.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of you achieving your goals. So often, we hold back or even quit when things get tough; when we are no longer the smartest/fastest/most successful person in the room. Our ego takes over and we shy away from those situations to protect ourselves. Throughout his career, Tim was always putting himself in challenging positions that FORCED him to adapt, to learn and to get better. This is how he became great. He didn’t shy away from those moments, he embraced them and seeked them out.
3. A strong mindset is everything.
A strong mindset is what sets people apart - between those who push forward and those who pull back. We would assume that the mindset of professional athletes is strong, but Tim says the reality is that they’re just like anyone else. Yet some of them, the ones who are really iconic, have longevity and repeated success in their fields - they have a mental toughness that is what sets them apart. Because physically, they are all the same. It all comes down to the mindset. In the sports world, it’s something that isn’t talked about very much as the focus tends to be all in the physical aspects. Tim spends a lot of time focusing on it with his clients and he coaches people to handle load - physiologically and psychologically. He puts his clients in physiological stress so that they psychologically learn to understand their true capacity to handle stress and how strong their mindset can be.
I coach around mindset all the time and I really believe everything stems from the strength of your mind. I loved Tim’s approach to strengthening this mental muscle - by connecting it to action. I’ll quote Tim here because I couldn’t say it any better myself - “You strengthen that mindset way better with action than if you just read a lot of books; if you spend a lot of time in your head and not in action, there’s this point where you almost believe that you’ve done it, just because you’ve been thinking about it so much. But when you get into action, you actually have to do it”.
4. Learn from the best
As a young athlete running track, Tim developed shin splints and couldn’t run; his coach advised him to pick an event that was a field event. Tim chose the discus - even though he had never done it before. He approached the best fields event coach in the state, who happened to be from his rival high school, and asked him to coach him on how to throw the discus. For the first week, he didn’t even tough a discus. It was all technique; he slowly improved and 3 weeks later, he won districts and qualified for state. In that moment, Tim realized the importance of learning from the best. He went from zero to champion in a mere 3 weeks by learning from the best. That was a lesson he carried on for the rest of his life and one that we can all apply to our own lives.
If you want to be great at something, truly master something, seek out and learn from those who are the best in that area. One of the reasons why Tim has achieved such success is that he made this a priority - learning from the best. He travelled the world spending time with the best sport psychologists, sport scientists, coaches and athletes. He observed how they coached, how they phrased things, their techniques and he applied those things to his work.
Whatever field you are in and whatever area it is that you want to improve in - seek out and learn from the best.
5. Take your physical self-care seriously.
Tim has had 5 unsuccessful knee surgeries; he has no ACL and his joints are bone on bone. Despite that, he has great mobility and maintains his athletic abilities because he has learned how to take care of himself. He has learned a process called the “11 Minute Routine” that he does on a daily basis that helps him manage his pain and his range of motion. It comes down to the old saying, “Use it or lose it”. If you’re not using and moving your body on a daily basis, then slowly over time, you’re going to feel worse and things are going to degenerate quickly. If daily movement seems way too far of a stretch for you, then Tim suggests taking baby steps; move your body a little bit more tomorrow than you did today. Everyday you move a little bit more, you gain a little more strength, a little more endurance and at the end of a month or a year, big changes will have been made.
I speak to self-care a lot in terms of our mindset, our energy and our happiness. I loved that Tim brought it back to the physicality of it as well; we can not take for granted our physical bodies. How we move them, how we treat them and what we nourish them with is so important; you may not feel it today, but after years of neglect in this area, you will most certainly feel its affects.
6. Feedback is necessary to success.
Learning from the best is crucial; but so is getting the feedback necessary to improve. It takes learning, work and feedback to be able to make adjustments and progress quickly. The biggest gift you can give yourself is to drop the layers that are holding you back from hearing what you need to hear. If someone is seeing something that can help you bring yourself to the next level of success in whatever it is that you’re doing, you need to be open to accepting that feedback. That’s how we progress at a rapid pace; by accepting feedback and acting on it instantaneously. Shed those layers that are preventing you from taking that feedback because your ego is in the way and you don’t want to get hurt.
7. You are capable of so much more than you think.
It’s crazy what we are all are capable of doing. Tim tries to bridge the gap in performance between where we are, where we think we can go and where we truly can go. The reality is that we can be so much greater and do so much more than we think we can.
They always said the “4 Minute Mile” could never be done; they said your heart would stop. And as soon as it was actually done and that record was broken, many other people did it that same year.
We impose these psychological barriers on ourselves; these self-limiting beliefs that we hold as truths. For his clients, Tim “holds space for their greatness until they can see it for themselves”. You may not see it yet, but trust in the fact that we are all capable of so much more than we think we are. We just need to get out of our heads and out of our own way sometimes.
Success is simple; it isn’t easy, but it’s simple.
Try to incorporate a few of these lessons from Tim into your life - your work, your relationships, your parenting, yourself.
I ended the interview as I do all my interviews - by asking what he would say to his younger self?
He would say to trust the process and don’t be in a rush. Set a plan that’s bigger than a year; set dreams instead of goals because goals are finite but dreams have longevity.