It seems like everybody is a coach these days. There are life coaches, business coaches, marketing coaches, athletic coaches, spiritual coaches, and so on. There are so many out there to choose from, how do you know who is good, or who is the best kind of coach for you?
I just watched “Rocky” for the first time the other night. Yes, the original “Rocky”. I know, I’m the only person in the world that hadn’t seen it. I needed the inspiration, and “Rocky” delivered. I think we all need to hear “You can do it!” from time to time. We all need to know that we CAN do it. After all, if we see that Rocky, a down on his luck boxer can beat the champ against all odds, well then, by God, we can too.
I talked to someone recently about putting my coaching services on their website. I was told that I couldn’t because I didn’t have a certification in coaching. Really? It kind of made me laugh. Did Mickey Goldmill need a certificate to coach Rocky? I’m pretty sure Jimmy Dugan never had any kind of coaching certificate to take his ragtag group of women baseball players to the top of their game in “A League of Their Own”. I’m not quite sure what a certificate would have done for either of them.
They say that those that can, do. And those that can’t, teach. Well, that’s not necessarily true either. Some people are born coaches. A good coach is a good observer. They know what you need to know and help you get there faster. I think it helps if the coach has actually done what they’re going to teach you to do.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach Todd Haley drew some fire for being the only NFL coach that never played football, not even in high school. But he did spend countless hours studying the sport. Which brings me to this question, “Would you rather be coached by someone that actually did what you want to be coached in or would you rather be coached by someone that studied it?”
My answer would be “both”. I personally want someone that has been through the process and can show me the shortcuts. I want someone that has been through the huge learning curve and can shorten it for me. That’s very valuable. There are tons of lessons and mistakes that you can only figure out by actually doing something. You can’t read about it in a book. On the other hand, someone who has spent many hours studying the process I want to learn will save me hours of reading and sifting through books and lessons to figure it out. And having both is a great way to shorten that learning curve tremendously. If you have both of those skills AND you’re a good observer and a good teacher, I could give a rat’s butt if you have a certificate, or even a college degree. I have neither. But could I help you shave off years of time and money from the mistakes I’ve learned? You bet I could! I learned them the hard way and figured out what works and doesn’t work.
A good coach should also hold you accountable. This is especially true for the people that are not self starters. I’ve been known to be tough on people while coaching to keep them on track. I know it takes hard work and focus to achieve something. If someone knows their stuff, I don’t have a problem being pushed hard. Again, I think it’s a personal choice.
A good coach is non-judgemental and listens to their needs. You don’t tell them what to do, but help them figure out how to get from A to B in the best way possible, and show them the shortcuts on how to get there.
The bottom line is that a coach is good for you if they help you achieve what you set out to achieve.