Performance Coach #143: Bob Litwin - Unveiling Mastery, Flow State, and Equanimity

Season #5

Welcome to another captivating episode on The Coach Podcast! In this episode, we dive into the realm of mastery, flow state, and equanimity with an extraordinary guest. Join us as we sit down with Bob Litwin, a renowned performance coach whose impressive achievements span from being a three-time tennis World Champion to ranking #1 in the world in senior tennis. In this enlightening conversation, we explore Bob's profound insights on coaching, growth catalysts, and the transformative power of rewriting our life stories. Discover how patience, persistence, and presence play pivotal roles in coaching and personal development, and unravel the concept of equanimity as a potent tool for maintaining balance amid life's challenges. Bob's wisdom shines through as he shares the process of changing our narratives, and we delve into his unique approach to coaching that centers on coaching the person first. Tune in to glean from Bob's wealth of experience, and be prepared to embark on a journey towards living your best story. This is an episode you won't want to miss!

Here is a summary of the key points;

  • 1.58: Worst coaching moment: Coaches remember that we work for the client, not the other way around. Listen to what they really want and who they want to be. Our job is to draw out of people who they aspire to be.
  • 6.48: Best coaching moment: People come to coaching with an idea for what they want to work on but quite often this is the catalyst for growth. For example;
    • "I want to wake up every morning of my life joyfully."
  • 10.35: When do we need to stay patient and pull back with our clients?
    • We move at the tempo of nature - patient yet very dynamic!
    • Book recommendation: Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom
  • 13.06: Sliding Doors: Working at a country club and realizing that there was a lack of respect. He wrote down his old story and then shifted that story to focus on the positives, for example;
    • I'm unhappy here. It's a good job but I'm unhappy. I like to be outside in the summer. I like the fact I'm playing tennis and people are coming to me and saying that this is the best part of my week.
    • I realized that I was teaching life skills.
  • 21.27: What Makes a Great Coach? 
    • Patience - We need to be patient and coach patience - we need to have a level of acceptance of where we are at in order to move forward.
    • Persistence - This is one of the qualities that Bob has trained into his 'being' that he is most proud of. "No, you can't do that" is like a call to arms. There is no "no". You have to be persistent.
    • Presence - Being fully present in whatever you are doing.
    • "Loving the journey" (23.51) - People are really good at loving the journey until it's bumpy and it's not working out. It's in the difficult moments, that helps us to grow.  
  • 27.05: Equanimity - Evenness of mind especially under stress. Meditation has helped Bob learn the art of equanimity.
    • Equanimity is when you are still experiencing things coming at you (thoughts, feelings) and there are reactions but as they come at you, they just go through you as if your brain is Teflon and not Velcro.
    • To learn more about masters in this field, follow Eckhart Tolle and Joseph Goldstein. They say that hundreds of times throughout our day we are winning and losing - and if we can stay down the middle, in a state of equanimity, the ups and downs don't affect us at all. That is where our best work lies, and it is where mastery lies.
    • The Legend Of Bagger Vance Clip 2 Seeing The Field
  • 36.53: Coach the person first.
  • 37.40: Do you want to make more money?
  • 39.20: "When people try to change me, I just get patient!"
  • 43.36: The process for how to change your story.
    • Step 1) Why are you calling me? (As a coach you take notes and pick up on themes).
    • Step 2) Give the person their OLD STORY back to them about who they have been up until this moment. For example, "I'm overly emotional." About 5 or 6 things.
    • Step 3) Now it's time to have a different story. This is the work that you may want to do. For example;
      • "I'm a master at managing my emotional energy."
        • Note: Before you change WHAT you are doing, you have to change WHO YOU ARE!
    • Step 4) Pay attention to times in your day when your old story shows up. Because all of those times, you get to do a repetition of your new story (the future you).
    • Step 5) Add an action to your new story, for example, going for a walk, or taking a breath, close your eyes, and sit quietly.
    • Slowly your new story will become your end game. Once you change, you don't need that story anymore and you can upgrade to a new one.
  • 49.06: When you write your new story down, you take yourself out of looping thoughts. It's a more linear experience, there is a beginning and an end. It helps to reduce ruminating. Pretend you are helping a friend with their new story.
  • 52.44: What are your thoughts on WINNING?
    • Winning is equally as important as playing free!

The Coaching Podcast is sponsored by The Sampson Agency - a talent entertainment and sports management company owned and operated by Tina Samara.

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About Bob Litwin

Performance coach Bob Litwin is a three-time tennis World Champion, 27- time US National Champion, and was ranked #1 in the world in senior tennis. In 2011 he was inducted into the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame. He is the first non-tour player to make a list that includes Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, Vitas Gerulaitis, Don Budge, Billie Jean King, and Althea Gibson. He has been selected to the US Senior Davis Cup team 11 times and earlier this year he was undefeated in leading the USA to winning the Cup. He has spent over forty years using the New Story method to coach Wall Street analysts and traders, start up founders, athletes, and performance coaches, to raise individual performance to extraordinary levels. He is the real life version of the Wendy Rhodes character on Showtime’s hit “Billions.” His book Live the Best Story of Your Life: A World Champion’s Guide to Lasting Change is all about becoming amazing all day, every day, and has been an Amazon best seller since it came out in 2016. Bob is a game-changer and we welcome him today.

Connect with Bob


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