Coaching Advice from Shark Tank

If you have ever seen the ABC hit TV show “Shark Tank” you know the premise is that entrepreneurs pitch their business/product/service to the “Sharks” in order to secure an investment for their company.

This got me thinking that the “Sharks” would be great coaches based upon their business advice and leadership expertise.

Here are some of the Shark’s quotes and my interpretations of them. You may need to replace some words like “greed” or “money” for words like “losing”, “the game”, “wins”, etc. but you get the point.

(1). “Don’t let the dark clouds of greed confuse you” — Kevin O’Leary

— To me this quote refers to staying the course even when times are tough. Certain games or possibly even entire seasons may be lost due to unforeseen factors. Head coaches must believe in their vision and philosophy even during difficult stretches.

(2). “Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct.” – Barbara Corcoran

— Prepare, seek advice, work hard, but go with your gut. Trust yourself.

(3). “If you’re emotional and you’re great at something, the money will follow.” – Robert Herjavec

— Anyone who watches the show knows of Mr. Herjavec’s humble beginnings. His story is one of rags to riches. To me this quote means that if you have the love and motivation for something and continue to improve, it will pay dividends in the long run. Focus on the present and the future will be bright.

 (4). “Never insult money.” — Kevin O’Leary

— Kevin O’Leary is notorious for being concerned with just one thing…the bottom line. Although coaches need to be aware of their win-loss record, I believe that the real “money” is overall player development (i.e, athletic ability and personal growth). Coaches need to stick to their value system and believe that they are making a positive impact at all times.

(5). “Don’t cry about money (the game), it never cries for you.” — Kevin O’Leary

— Don’t feel bad for yourself. Someone somewhere has it worse. Make your own luck!

(6). “Don’t ever be enamored by what something sells for. It’s more important what you get to keep in your pocket.” – Robert Herjavec

— Short term gains do not out weight long term benefits. Do not sell your program or self out for a few wins right now when there is much more to gain down the road.

(7). “Life is hard, money (the game) doesn’t care, your tears don’t add value” — Kevin O’Leary

— No whining. No complaining.

(8). “Convince me why this isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever seen.” – Robert Herjavec

— This one was a little challenging…What came to mind was when you are coaching your team be ready to answer tough questions and be ready to defend your philosophy and program. Have a reason(s) for what you are doing.

(9). “Do you want to be rich or not? Let’s get focused on that, buddy” – Kevin O’Leary

— Focus on the process of winning. Make the necessary sacrifices and pay attention to the details. Coaching is a 24/7 enterprise.

(10). “What I loved most about this girl…she reminded me of myself…there’s no way that girl’s not gonna make it.” – Barbara Corcoran

— This one is pretty self-explanatory. Leaders can see other who have those types of qualities. When you are on a job interview make sure those who are the decision makers can see how you relate to them.

(11). “How frustrating you are. You’ve got a real business, but you’re a pig.” –Kevin O’Leary

— This quote refers to doing things the right way and not being greedy, that is, do not allow the immediate success to have a negative impact on how you perceive yourself or how others perceive you. Keep things in perspective. Be humble.

(12). “Here’s how I think of my money – as soldiers – I send them out to war everyday. I want them to take prisoners and come home, so there’s more of them.” – Kevin O’Leary

— Mr. O’Leary being Mr. O’Leary…Allocate your resources wisely. If you do, you will gain more support and have more resources to allocate in the future. Build an infrastructure in your program that will be able to grow and thrive. You never know who can help your program grow.


2 comments on “Coaching Advice from Shark Tank

  1. Eric Salsbury says:

    I really like your analogies here. A couple stand out to me in particular. # 4 – a coach should be in it to see their players improve on and off the court. # 6 – if you do things with integrity, you can feel good about yourself win or lose, but winning feels even better when you know you didn’t cut corners. # 9 – anyone in this business has to realize the job is never done. # 12 – I think you can relate this to recruiting. If your players are enjoying themselves and having success, they will be the best recruiters you have.

  2. Rob Wilson says:

    This is very true. These people have worked very hard to get where they are today, and though some of them are much more frank about things than others, they all have very good points, and if listened to you can become better at anything you do, including coaching. Thank you for sharing!

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