What is one of the most important questions to ask yourself when reflecting on your day as a coach?
Well, the other day I was paying for some groceries at an automated self-checkout and the machine said something like "Thanks for shopping at countdown" in it's weird voice.
My 3-year-old daughter remarked:
"Daddy why is it talking to you?"
I said something like: "Well it's saying thank you because it's happy to have our money..."
And it got me thinking... this is just one little tiny example of how we are dismantling these brief, but still meaningful, moments of human connection. A real person used to be saying thank you to me. We would probably make eye contact, maybe share awkward small talk about the weather and then carry on. But, obviously in the name of convenience and profits, this is gone. Nothing new here. This is what all the online interaction does too. AI is killing human connection.
But, it makes it even more important for people to think about how they interact with others day-to-day. I thought about coaches in Sport and how they often ignore the human stuff and just deliver information. And a robot could do that. A robot will do it better one day. A robot will be able to come up with the best drills, the best solutions to problems, the best strategies even. But a robot will never be able to mimic the things that make us uniquely human.
So the most important question when reflecting on your day should be:
Could a robot have done my job for me today?
If yes, you'll know you missed out on some of the things that humans crave, and need more than ever. Some of the things that the stats and knowledge and data can't provide. Some of the things that mean the most to your athletes even though they might not really know it.
Playfulness, Humour, Belonging, Compassion, Empathy...
I'm confident a robot can't deliver those or share those, so until they start reproducing the human brain, make sure you're not just doing what a robot could do and regurgitating programmed information.
Your players will perform better. But that's a by product of them feeling better, feeling cared for, feeling listened to, feeling like they belong. Then the Mental Toughness will take care of itself.