- A coach should create and foster a positive environment.
- A coach should be focused on bringing out the best in someone else.
- A coach should believe in the student even when the student doesn’t believe in him or herself.
- A coach should be open and honest in communication.
- A coach should find opportunities for the student when they think there are none.
- A coach should bring out things in another they did not realize was possible.
- A coach should continually challenge the student slightly beyond his or her reach.
- A coach should spend more time focused on small successes than tiny mistakes.
- A coach should set expectations for both the individual and the team.
- A coach should model the behaviors he or she is asking of someone else.
Unfortunately, as you look at this list, you will see that all but the last item don’t focus on the coach, but on the person who is being coached. This fact has led me to discover two paradoxes about being a coach:
- Once you are a coach, your job appears to be helping everyone else while leaving little time or importance for your own personal growth.
- As a coach, we expect growth and hard work of everyone we work with, but forget to expect the same thing of ourselves.
In my experience, the best coaches are the ones who have attained a level of expertise and an understanding of the learning process in order to teach someone else. In other words, if you don’t continue to grow as a coach, it will be impossible to grow the people with which you work. So, if you want to be a great coach, you have to use the first nine items on the list above for yourself too! You can’t develop a quality in someone else until you first develop it in yourself. So, the first person you have to get something out of is yourself.
The world needs better coaches. A coach can make the biggest difference in someone’s life, but only if they are prepared and understand the job. And part of the job of a coach is not just making everyone else better, but getting yourself better too.
Excerpt from Training For Warriors