Coach Paul Assaiante knows how to motivate teams for success. As the current coach of the Men’s Squash team at Trinity College and the former Men’s Tennis team coach, Paul has motivated top athletes from around the world.
He is known for his unique achievement as the “winningest coach in college sports history”, winner of 15 NCAA Championships titles, and 22-year dedication as squash coach.
Paul’s core belief is the need to embrace fear in order to remove obstacles blocking success. He shares his experience and lessons on building teams of champions in his book, Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear.
Paul brings together the best players from around the world and demonstrates how teammates from diverse cultures, religions, and ethnicities can unite as a winning team year after year. He uses his experiences to help leaders in any field embrace collaboration, cultural diversity, and leadership models that encourage employees to give everything they have- every day, and build winning teams.
“We as coaches are nothing more than here to help them (players) learn about themselves through sport so they can be better, more balanced, and more successful people in society later.”
In This Episode:
- Obsessing over the outcome at an early age
- Identifying his calling.. to be a college coach
- Why he’s more fascinated by losing than winning
- Utilizing practice as a time for failure
- Why practice is everything
- Teaching kids to value the process over outcome
- What proper preparation looks like
- The awesome power of now
- Why people fail to perform under the lights
- Pride vs. ego
- How he gets in his own way
- His philosophy… the ship must move forward
- Observation as his mindfulness practice
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“I believe in the Japanese philosophy that you cry in practice and laugh in competition.”
“Life is a game of losing and you need to learn to adjust your sails.”’
“Practice is the essence of everything we do here.”
“By how you approach things mentally you can will things to go a certain way.”
“A coach needs to help prepare the young person for what they are about to experience. What I help the guys understand, is that it’s going to be a rollercoaster. There will be valleys and peaks.
“How we can help people perform better is by helping them understand and prepare for what’s likely to happen out there.”
“Spirit, mind, and body, in combination, allow us to reach levels that the body on it’s own wouldn’t normally reach. It starts with a thought.”
“Everyone chokes. The greats choke less. I honestly believe champions perform closer to what they can every day.”
“The way a sword is made is it’s put in fire. My philosophy of practice is you’ve got to make it fire. You’ve got to make it uncomfortable.”
“To me competition is a dance. The dance is more beautiful when both people are dancing well.”
“Familiarity breeds contempt. It creates a level of comfort.”
“When life gets hard and you are dealing with issues, the ship must move forward. That’s what life has to be.”
“A parent can only be as happy as its most unhappy child.”
“We’re all in this world to make things around us better.”
“Emotion takes away your ability to recognize that adjustments need to be made and what those adjustments are.”
“When I go, on my tombstone, I just want the words, ‘Here lies a man who made a difference.’ In that regard I can’t fail. All I have to do is get up and be true to my ethos and my craft. I want to touch and make a difference in these people’s lives so they can go on and feel good about themselves and know they had a positive experience.”
His mantra: “Did I make things better around me today?”