Yesterday I shared a story from Mike Tyson’s book (“Iron Ambition”) about his trainer Cus D’Amato, and here’s another one that coaches should keep in mind …

D’Amato was always picky with the fighters that he worked with, and also had a cautious approach when it came to booking his fighters for matches.

He was constantly being approached by promoters promising big purses for him and his fighters, but he never hesitated to turn them down if he didn’t feel like his guy was ready.

Many questioned those rejections, especially since D’Amato was often broke, but according to Tyson he wasn’t a slave to money and knew he could earn more if he needed it so he tried to instill the same attitude into his fighters. Rather than letting them get distracted by making a quick buck and jumping into a bad fight that they might lose, Cus said:

“I often tell the boys that we’re like runners in a close race for a hundred thousand dollars in gold, in which one boy is leading all the rest by a step. Just before he reaches the finish line, he sees a twenty-dollar gold piece, stops to pick it up, and loses the hundred thousand. The same applies to big money fights, which I had been offered for my fighters. Had I accepted bouts with certain fighters at different stages, my fighters might never have gotten to be champions”

The same goes for coaches who stop to take on bad clients they shouldn’t be working with – those who don’t pay much, or aren’t motivated, or are a pain in the butt.

Making a few bucks might seem appealing in the short term, but remember that you’ll have to work with that person for awhile so it pays to be picky.

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