In Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart Mary Beth O'Neill writes about the need for an effective coach to maintain a grounded presence. Of course, this isn't a static state; we are all constantly interacting with the surrounding environment:

"The goal is to decrease the amount of time we are reactive and to recover equilibrium more quickly."

If there is a single prerequisite for gravity sports, it is a sense of balance. One needs to stay upright in what is essentially a controlled fall down a slope. To do so, the muscular and neural loops that detect and correct imbalance must be tuned and honed, and we also must be willing to commit.

And the reality is, even the best athletes lose their balance. Constantly. It just looks a bit different than we might expect, because they also know how to correct in a fraction of a second.

Speaking for myself, there is magic to be found in defying gravity in this way. As I am in a state of being pulled down the slope, yet staying upright, living in that paradox there is something that happens. And it feels amazing.

As practitioners, the truth for us is that it's less about not losing our balance. It's about understanding that we and those we work with will be constantly pushed and pulled by a chaotic stream of inputs; we are already in falling across the slope of business realities. Our job is to do all we can to move with those forces and stay upright, and seek that paradox, for there is magic there. And as we practice that, the loops that detect imbalance tighten and improve; it requires less effort over time.

It's also a good idea to carry a first aid kit and know how to use it...part of learning to balance is, at times, failing. Wearing a helmet's a good idea, too (see my Team Armor post) :)

As a practitioner, how do you balance? How do you know when you're slipping, and what helps you re-center?


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