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.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
I believe the art of the follow through is captured well in this list.
So back to the sports analogy. Follow through builds muscle memory in the brain. Follow through is the action we take after the swing, the conversation, the class, etc.
By keeping our commitments on the follow through we bring our experiences with people, full circle. This creates trust and an invitation to continue engaging.
For learning, actively applying the new skill is the follow through. Follow through is the difference in reading a great book and taking action vs reading and doing nothing.
Follow through is a life skill. It applies to every person you know.
Anytime you say “I will’’ you must commit to the follow through.
P.S. How would you rate your follow through skills? If they are poor, it is likely creating negative a negative thought spiral that is draining your energy. It’s affecting your confidence, your sense of control over your life, and could be holding you back. Teaching consistent follow through is something we do in personal and business coaching. It’s a game changer.
If you are curious about coaching with me, schedule a discovery call at www.bauerhousecoaching.com
My son Miles at the end of the 2021 Baseball season. Follow through at bat earned us the win!