Michael Burt has known his entire life that he would become a coach someday. Today, he has one of the largest and most successful coaching programs out there.
In conversation with Steve Sims on the “Art of Making Things Happen” Podcast, Burt explains the early origins of his interest in coaching. “I was raised by a single mother who had me when she was 16 years old and she, when she was working two jobs, she would take me down to the local baseball field and she would leave me down at the baseball field for hours and hours and hours… There was a female coaching… and she would tend to me and care for me and feed me and she almost served as a surrogate parent to me. But she said to me, when I was six years old, I remember it, ‘one of these days, you’re going to be a great coach’.”
Then, at 15, “My high school basketball coach…said, ‘the way you study, the way you analyze, the way you try to make people better… you’re going to be a great coach.’… And so at 15 years old, I knew this is what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to be coaching people.”
At 18 years old, Burt began coaching elementary basketball. Today, he’s been at it for 27 years.
Burt’s success can likely be contributed to his work ethic. As he was getting started, Burt would put in 80-hour workweeks, including eight hours on Sundays. “I was married to winning and building a national powerhouse,” Burt explains. And to this day, he continues to work hard. “I’m happiest when I’m creating. I’m happiest when I’m pursuing.”
Burt has a clear definition of what a coach is: “a person that engages you in a set of systematic behaviors that allows you to do something tomorrow you cannot do today.” This is the crucial thing that separates coaches from consultants or mentors. “A coach is going to get in your grill and coach you on a consistent basis and have an accountability loop and they’re going hold you accountable to what they’re telling you to do.”
Burt’s philosophy is clear: “My core concept in life is everybody needs a coach in their life. I don’t care who you are,” says Burt. “A good coach will help you become something you never thought you could become.”
Explaining further, Burt says, “I operate on a theory that you can’t see the picture when you’re inside the frame. You can’t stir the pot when inside the bowl. We have too much assumption bias, prejudgment that we need other people helping us, coaching us.”
Beyond that, Burt believes that “who’s coaching you matters.” When choosing a coach, it’s critical to pick somebody who has demonstrated the capacity and experience necessary to create real change.
But success also depends on your commitment. Explains Burt, “If you’re going to get into [a] coaching program and halfway do it, it’s halfway going to work…I can’t help you until you commit, but once you commit, I’m not going to let you fail.”
In his own coaching practice, Burt focuses on activating his clients’ “prey drive,” an “instinctual ability to find, capture, and go after something [as] prey.” This drive is prevalent in canines, but Burt believes it’s present in humans, too. “They have [an] innate instinctual ability to move toward things that fill a need in their life… So I spend a lot of my time as a coach trying to activate the prey drive in people.”
Regarding his personal future, Burt has clear goals himself. Says Burt, “I have a strong desire to be one of the top thought leaders in the world.” Perhaps he’ll use a coach himself to get there.
To learn more about Michael Burt…
Website: Coach Michael Burt
Podcast: Coach Michael Burt with Steve Sims
Subscribe to: That Art of Making Things Happen with Steve Sims