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The Daily Stoic / – How Stoicism Makes Coaches Better

The Daily Stoic – How Stoicism Makes Coaches Better

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In this episode of “The Daily Stoic” podcast, the hosts explore how Stoicism can benefit sports coaches. They discuss the practicality and applicability of Stoic philosophy in various fields, including coaching, and draw inspiration from the ancient Stoics who were athletes themselves. The episode also delves into the life of Marcus Aurelius, a powerful Roman leader who practiced self-improvement through journaling. The hosts emphasize the Stoic belief in viewing obstacles as opportunities for growth and highlight the importance of focusing on what is within our control. They also explore the concept of ego as the enemy and its detrimental effects on individuals and teams. Through examples from sports and real-life scenarios, the episode provides valuable insights on how Stoicism can make coaches better.

Main Takeaways

Practicing Stoicism in Coaching

  • Philosophy can be practical and applicable to various fields, including sports coaching.
  • The ancient Stoics were athletes and understood competition and self-mastery.
  • Stoics believe in focusing on what is in our control, not what is outside of it.
  • Stoics use sports metaphors to illustrate the importance of responding to challenges with resilience and adaptability, much like a ball player catching and throwing a ball.

Marcus Aurelius and Self-Improvement

  • Marcus Aurelius, a powerful Roman leader, practiced self-improvement through journaling.
  • He faced numerous challenges during his reign, including war, betrayals, and the devastating Antonine Plague.
  • Stoicism helped Marcus Aurelius navigate these challenges by emphasizing choosing how to view and respond to obstacles in life.
  • Adversity and struggle can make us stronger and help us grow, as seen in the example of Marcus Aurelius.

The Obstacle is the Way

  • Stoics believe that every situation is an opportunity to practice virtue, including courage, justice, discipline, and wisdom.
  • The obstacle is the way, meaning that obstacles should be seen as opportunities to practice virtue rather than hindrances to success.
  • Embracing adversity and struggle can reveal our true character and resilience.
  • The Stoic concept of “amor fati” encourages a love of fate and the ability to turn obstacles into fuel for personal growth.

Ego as the Enemy

  • Ego is a mask for insecurity and can lead to self-inflicted failure.
  • Bankman Field, Elon Musk, and Kyrie Irving are examples of individuals whose ego has negatively impacted their lives and careers.
  • Ego is the enemy, not external threats or opponents.
  • The disease of ego tears teams apart and makes everything about the individual.
  • Focusing on personal improvement and holding oneself to a high standard is key to overcoming ego.


Stoicism in Coaching and Self-Improvement

Stoicism offers practical guidance for coaches by emphasizing resilience, adaptability, and focusing on what is within their control. The ancient Stoics, including Marcus Aurelius, understood the challenges of competition and self-mastery. Marcus Aurelius’ reign was marked by war, betrayals, and the Antonine Plague, yet he practiced Stoicism to navigate these obstacles. Stoics believe that every situation is an opportunity to practice virtue and that embracing adversity can lead to personal growth. The concept of “amor fati” encourages individuals to love their fate and transform obstacles into opportunities for development.

Ego as a Hindrance

Ego is identified as the enemy that can lead to self-inflicted failure. Examples from the lives of Bankman Field, Elon Musk, and Kyrie Irving demonstrate the negative impact of ego on individuals’ lives and careers. Stoicism teaches that ego separates individuals from the belief that they are special and exempt from rules. Ego can tear teams apart and hinder success. Overcoming ego requires focusing on personal improvement, holding oneself to high standards, and recognizing the importance of teamwork.


By incorporating Stoic principles into coaching, coaches can enhance their ability to navigate challenges, develop resilience, and foster a team-oriented mindset. Stoicism teaches coaches to focus on what is within their control, embrace adversity, and overcome ego. Through the wisdom of the ancient Stoics and practical examples, this episode highlights how Stoicism can make coaches better and ultimately lead to improved performance and personal growth.

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