Tommy Kramer Tip #238 – The Coaching Process: Step 3 Of 3

In the previous two tips, we went over Step 1 – weeding the garden of bad or outdated habits, and really seeing into what an actual Strategy is, rather than just a bunch of Tactics thrown at the wall to see what sticks – and Step 2, which is a crucial building block of developing both Timing and Trust, in what you do on the air and in shaping the knack of pulling people closer to you.

Those are huge, and take some time to believe in, because there are plenty of people who THINK they’re coaches that actually know nothing about starting from scratch and creating an entity that has a real chance to get huge ratings.

Step 3 of my coaching process is the most fun, the longest lasting, and the most imaginative:  It’s all about the Art – the “how high can you fly?” quest that all great talents have.

This is where coaching is most important.  Michael Jordan had a coach.  Phil Jackson took His Airness from just a great player to a Champion.  Jack Nicholson has had the same dialogue coach for decades.  Tom Brady without Bill Belichick would be Aaron Rogers – great stats, but only one championship, not five.

Here’s how Step 3 works:  I strip every “crutch” away.  Every little habit that doesn’t serve a purpose or wastes the listener’s time, every additional step that slows down a show’s momentum, every unnecessary word possible, every semi-lame bit you still cling to that’s just there because you haven’t come up with anything better.  That leaves ONLY WHAT YOU DO BEST.  And we work on making that sound so simple, so easy, that people just gravitate to it because it sounds like you’re having so much fun doing it.

After that “A” side, we work on a “B” side, just like an old vinyl record had, because one-trick ponies eventually lose their appeal.

There are people I’ve worked with for decades.  Some have changed formats, some have gone into voice acting careers, some have become the big fish in a small pond, some have become a big fish in a huge pond, but they all have one thing in common:  They’re still curious about getting better, seeing more, developing new techniques.

You CAN do it yourself, without a coach.  But you can do it much faster WITH a coach.  If you fear the coaching process, what you’re really doing is arbitrarily lowering your ceiling on how good you can get.

It’s easy to throw around big, well-known names that I’ve worked with, but there are literally hundreds of people I’ve coached that you’ve probably never heard of that are even more successful, but chose to remain in smaller markets and OWN them.  Whichever path you choose, a coach’s job is to help you realize your dreams.  If that’s not what’s happening, then you’ve got the wrong coach.

No coach is more talented than his players.  But no great player got there by himself.


Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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