top of page

Follow Through is Everything

If you’ve played sports you understand the concept of follow through. Coaches preach it endlessly: “Always finish with the correct follow-through.”

In baseball, football, tennis, golf, soccer or any sport requiring a skilled targeting movement, how your throw, swing or kick ends up can determine the ball’s speed and direction.

But how can something you do after contact with an object affect its motion?

According to research at the University of Cambridge, the key to consistent actions is creating a lasting motor memory in the brain for a unique skill.

Ok, what does this have to do with coaching, life, and leadership?

Well, it’s all about the follow through.

I have a friend who often complements a timely email with, “Great follow through Elizabeth.” I get all warm and fuzzy inside.

Follow through in in our daily lives looks like keeping our commitments and closing the loop on open issues. It is timely and consistent action.

These follow through actions send messages to others (and our own brains) that we are engaged, care about outcomes, and take full responsibility for our actions.

Not following through is definitely one of my pet peeves.

“I’ll get you that contact, let’s meet for lunch, I can help with carpooling.” Heads up- if you say these things to me, I expect you to act. I don’t expect to ask again.

It sounds harsh, I know, but I live by the words of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

1. Be impeccable with your word.

2. Don’t take anything personally.