Having a coach – what are the benefits? Are coaches only for those who need to have ‘performance improvement’? Is having a coach worth the money? These are valid questions. Having a coach is similar to having a personal trainer. No one needs a personal trainer to achieve their fitness goals, but having a coach will enable you to achieved your goals much faster and with more confidence than without one. Coaching is a relationship and a process based on focus and commitment.
1. Having a Professional Confidante With Your Best Interest in Mind
With a professional coach you will have someone who is experienced and non-judgmental in your corner. They are your sounding board and will provide advice if that is what you want. A coach is great as they solely have your best interest in mind, where as your teammate or parent often have their own “agenda.” During a coaching session you will have continuous one to one attention from your coach who is committed to your success, the sessions and coaching relationship will be all about you.
2. A Coach Sees and Believes in Your Potential
A coach does not know your weaknesses and limitations – unless you share them of course. A coach sees and believes in your potential. A coach will help you to ‘time shift’ your thinking so you can envision yourself in the future doing what you want to do and being who you want to be. Some people I have worked with see ‘lack of confidence’ or ‘fear failure’ as the barrier to them reaching their potential. Does this sound familiar for you or anyone you know? Your coach will ask some tough questions to understand the source of your lack of confidence and will give you strategies to either reframe your thinking or to build confidence. Your potential or ‘altitude’ is created by you and your coach will see no limitations in you achieving this altitude.
3. A Coach Will Help you to Expand your Thinking
A coach will work with you to reframe your attitude and to expand your thinking. Most of the challenges we face each day are based on the limitations and fears we place on ourselves. With coaching there will be many questions and sometimes some tough questions to really delve into the reasons for your fears – understanding where your fears and limitations come from is key to overcoming them. A coach will help you to get out of your own way!
4. A Coach Will Help You to Go Around, Go Through or Go Over Obstacles That Limit your Success
Many challenges we face each day in our personal or sportlife are due to factors beyond our control. Have you ever come out of a tournament and wished that you had done something differently – maybe warm-up more or shot less practice. This type of reflection and self-awareness is excellent but it also creates self-doubt. Coaching will help you to reframe your thinking and self-awareness to come from a positive position. It will also help you to clarify your challenges and will guide you in how to overcome the challenge or negative self-talk and be able to move forward.
5. A Coach Will Hold you Accountable To Your Plan and Goals.
A Coach will provide you with a tremendous amount of support to help you have the tools, resources and way of thinking to achieve your goals. Part of this support will be in the form of holding you accountable. This is a part of coaching that many people do not like – they want to achieve their goals but do not want to be held accountable. I have heard “I do not want a coach because I do not want anyone telling me what to do”. This would be true for most people, as athletes many do not want to be told what to do – but we do want someone to support and encourage us to be reach our goals. A coach is this ‘accountability partner’. This accountability may be in the form of ‘homework’ assignments and/or motivation, inspiration and encouragement. At each coaching session your coach will ask you for an update on your progress towards your goals. It can be easy to make excuses as to why you did not stick to the plan. Your coach will help you move from giving excuses as to why objectives were not achieved to one of taking accountability for what was achieved and adjusting the plan to ensure success.
The value of coaching is hard to quantify and therefore it is challenging to understand the value you will achieve from having a coach. It is important to remember that your coach will be your biggest non-judgmental supporter – he or she will believe in you and will be very and committed to helping you get out of your own way. A coach is key part of your team needed for you to achieve your personal and professional success.