Zach Troutman is a Superstar who Leads Others To Better

When we hear the term “superstar,” most of us think about someone who is high profile or an extremely successful performer for the entertainment of others.

Almost 20 years ago, I used to think along the same lines when I was a young sophomore in high school, trying to make it in the starting lineup at one of the most successful high school football programs in the state of Florida.  

words + photographs ZACH TROUTMAN

It was during this time I learned a superstar is as Coach Kramer put it, someone who makes those around him or her better. As a young man, I felt this was applicable to only sports. Little did I know how much this definition would shift my thinking and mold me into the man I am today.

As the new year begins, many of us are thinking about our New Year’s resolutions and how we can roll further into 2022 with less bad habits. While I don’t knock anyone who feels it’s appropriate to wait for the beginning of the new year to make changes, the problem isn’t removing bad habits as much as it is replacing them with good. In other words, we know what the problem is, but don’t necessarily know how to find the solution.

For some of us, the solution could be something simple like writing down our goals and plans for the new year. Some of us may need accountability, whether that be in the form of another person who we trust or complete strangers via social media. I am not here to tell you your way is wrong, but what works for you may not work for the next person.

If what you are doing isn’t working, change it; it’s your life.

Resolutions never really worked for me, so I did exactly what I am encouraging you to do: I made a change. What my focus went to was simply: How can I be better, not only for myself, but for those around me? What things could I improve that would have the greatest positive impact of those around me?

“This group of men represents what I stand for,” says Zach Troutman. “Broken men trying to heal and connect. I use any chance I can get to get around men and young people to help normalize convos surrounding mental health.” 

One thing about working in leadership, being a husband, father, coach, and mentor, I am in constant superstar mode. How can I make those around me better? How can I help them recognize and reach their full potential? Many years ago, my coach, mentor, close friend Jason Doran gave me the book InSideOut Coaching by Joe Ehrmann, and BOOM I was hit right upside the head with a similar concept I was told many years before about making those around us better and, more importantly, to be used and not let people use you.

The books breaks down leadership/coaching into two type of styles: transactional and transformational. Transactional is leading with more of an emphasis on rewards and punishment. In sports, you will often see this type of coach reward his players when they play well because their play makes him look like a great coach. Transformational leading has more emphasis on relationship building and empowerment. This is the coach or leader who uses his/her platform to elevate others. No matter the magnitude of the situation, it will always be less about them and more about everyone else.

Zach Troutman explains this photo as “Train Gang Thursday.” It is free speed, agility, conditioning training. “It started during the pandemic and in all the racial tension across the world,” he says. “I wanted to bring kids together so they can see how much more we have in common than not. Used this space to focus on love, completion and fun.” 

New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, and that is okay. I encourage you to be more solution-focused going into 2022. As you lead yourself better, remember to be a superstar. ZT

Zach Troutman was born and raised in Naples, Florida, but grew and was groomed at Evangel University as a student-athlete for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Zach is a husband, father, leader, and learner. Cover picture: Coach Zach is pictured with his flag football team and assistant coaches.

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