Remember, building a strengths-based culture is a long-term game.
In his own way, Coach Slayton was a pioneer in strengths philosophy.
First, he thought long term, a challenge for any high school coach pressured to get results now, this match, this tournament, this season. In spite of the pressures, he suggested small changes to my game that if repeated over and over would reap massive benefits months or even years in the future.
Second, within days of working together, it seemed, Coach Slayton had identified my core strengths—quickness, sharp reflexes, aggressive play at the net—all the skills of an exceptional doubles player. He pushed me hard to improve the things I was already good at, and in doing so, gave me the confidence to make shots I had previously given up on.
I recall how he didn’t spend a second fixing my weaknesses, and instead drilled me on ways to enhance my natural talents until they overpowered any shortcomings in my game.