“All coaching is, is taking a player where he can’t take himself” ~ Bill McCartney
When we hear the word “coach”, the first thing most people think of is a sports coach. We expect a sports team or player will have a coach. We expect them to, if they will have any chance of success in their sport. How can they compete if they don’t? How can they stand a chance if there isn’t someone providing direction and strategy?
Football teams have them. Soccer teams have them. Runners have them. Cheerleaders have them.
Coaches. In sports, they’re the people who lead their team through a game, and through a season. They don’t play the game. Their job is to instruct and lead the players, to employ strategies, so that the team or player can best play their respective game. And aim for their goal of success in their game.
So, a coach is someone who helps others employ a strategy for success.
In sports, success is measured by winning games. In life, how is success measured? Success in life is a very individual thing. What success means to me is not what success means to you. And how do we usually get there (to success) in our lives? How do we know what strategy to employ in our lives, to get us where we desire to be?
Think about that for a minute.
In sports, we expect a coach to be involved in a winning season. In life, we typically expect we can do it ourselves. And maybe we can. Just like a runner can train themselves for a marathon. The question becomes, though, are we really achieving what is possible.
Life coaching. Life coaching is helping individuals determine their personal goals, and employing strategies toward achieving them. Like a sports coach, a life coach has the task to give you direction, help you to make some of the tough realizations, and lead you toward your own personal successes.
I recently participated in a five-day coaching session hosted by coach Tom Volkar, looking at Authentic Business Discovery. This was a group coaching session, conducted by telephone. My expectation was that I would listen on the phone for an hour, get pumped up, then go out and use that new-found energy. And…repeat for five days. That was not it at all…
Like the coach on a sports team, a life coach asks you to put in the time and effort to make living your life meaningful. Meaningful in the sense that you really need to get to know you, and determine what success means on a personal level.
“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.” ~ Muhammad Ali
The process of this week consisted of a series of questions forcing me to really think about “me”. Not just on the surface, what I portray, but more deeply, what it is that I truly value in life. At times I struggled with the answers, and then other times the answers came easily and quickly. And that was good. In the struggles, I was forced to look deep and really delve into how this all tied in with my core values. When realizations came more quickly, I knew that these realizations were in alignment with who I am. In the end, I came out with a better understanding of myself and what directions I want to go in. And that was an empowering realization!
During the week, many techniques were presented, of which our task was to use these techniques to dig deeper into who we are. Some worked, some didn’t. Not every technique is going to work for everyone – because we are all different. Tom did a great job of presenting us with methods to use in discovering what “authentic” means to each of us individually. That not all worked for everyone is ok. It’s ok because we all learn differently. Having the right tools is the key.
Like the coach on a sports team – life coaching helps you to focus and strategize on getting to where you desire to be. A life coach is an outside source, not biased by your life experiences, working to lead you to the championship game in life. Whatever that championship game entails for you, that’s a great place to strive for!
What are your thoughts on life coaching? Have you ever used a coach to give your life direction or clarity? Have you ever coached someone else? Is the benefit worth the cost? Share your thoughts in the comments below.