When someone has “it” you know it when you see it. It’s hard to explain, and even more difficult to wrap your head around, but “it” often refers to the intangibles. The unmeasurable quality that we often use to describe individuals who are able to make the difficult seem plausible. In this episode, we delve into the attributes of focus and intention, seeking to explain how certain athletes show up, no matter what. Can we train this quality? Our exploration includes:

  • It’s about getting yourself in the right place to compete and execute their skill.
  • How the best are able to “zoom in and zoom out,” shifting their focus and attention.
  • How behaviors are the key to identifying the intangibles
  • Can you predict performance simply by looking at an athlete’s pre-meet behaviors?
  • How the signal you send as a coach influences whether athletes cultivate their ability to risk and show up.
  • The Intangibles means moving an athlete to their best personal and competitive self.
  • You can’t manufacture culture, it must be cultivated.
  • Is motivation coming from a place of fear or a desire to succeed?


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Resources Mentioned on this weeks episode:

Why Every Person Matters– Motivation Contagion

Study on Athletes Slapping Hands Improving Wins

Podcast with Danny Mackey on how you need to anticipate, not react when racing.

Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb

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Jon: Twitter and Instagram

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On Coaching #72: The Intangibles: Can You Develop the “It” Factor
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One thought on “On Coaching #72: The Intangibles: Can You Develop the “It” Factor

  • April 18, 2018 at 7:50 am

    At my former High School we had a couple of distance runners that had “it”. They could whoop anyone if they wanted to. Was it due to their training? Ya partly, but they just had something in them that let them go even faster. I know cause i tried to out kick them once after a 4 mile run during cross and it didn’t go so well.


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