I never imagined this would come to pass, but it was me who made the blunder, so I can tell you first hand it happened like this:
Man: “I’ve been coaching for 12 years.”
Me: “Oh! Are you a life coach or business coach…?”
Man (sour face): “No, I coach High School Basketball.”
Me: “Oh, so sorry. I mean…I’m not sorry, I just didn’t mean to…never mind.” (Blush.)
It wasn’t until just this week when I realized this exchange represented a significant tipping point. It used to be that we non-coaches would put up a big fuss, remember that?
“I’m not a sport coach! I’m a Life coach.”
And now the tables have turned. Obviously there aren’t any statistics, but I would imagine that the case of mistaken identity goes both ways in fairly equal numbers these days. What a wonderful thing.
Isn’t it still VERY odd, in some ways, that as life and business coaches, we’ve kept our distance from the world of sport, shunning it in pursuit of a cure for our identity crisis?
Now that we’ve become one of the most widely accepted new group of helping professionals, what if…
We didn’t rest on our laurels, but actively sought to over-deliver on the promise that comes with our profession? “What promise is that, Andrea?” you might ask. Well, it may vary a little from coach to coach, but being a coach, my promises include:
- Working with me, together we will play a big game (or games) of your choosing, for high stakes, and with intensity.
- As your coach, I will not only listen well before and after your big life events, I will be present, in the action, real-time.
- Your life and/or business will get measurably better, more quickly.
- I will help protect you from costly mistakes, such as overwork, false hope, overspending and inner blocks.
- My experience through life’s challenges becomes your experience. My experiments, your laboratory.
If I do my job very well, our work will cause you to be proud to call me your Coach. And over time, my reputation as a coach will grow.
The thing is, the language I’ve used with coaching clients has changed in the years I’ve been called ‘Coach.’ I’ve become a much stronger critic of myself, and more demanding of my own coaches, by far. It feels good.
A NEW Problem has arisen
As life and business coaching has gained prominence, a new problem has arisen. As much as it puts a crack in my heart, it’s become not uncommon to hear “I worked with a coach. S/he sucked.” And behind closed doors, sometimes in coaching sessions with me, I hear:
“I feel like I don’t know how to coach well.”
“How did you just do that? I want to know how to coach MY clients that way.
“There’s just something missing that I can’t grasp, I feel like my clients aren’t getting anyplace.”
Are you feeling these things, or similar, too?
Have you wondered if there is any other future ahead for coaching, or is the bright hopeful future all behind us, now that we’re well known and TV features “coaching” so often? Is what we see there really coaching?
The World of Sport Coaching Comes Back and Forgives Us
Even though we spurned it for so long, the world of sport coaching nowappears ready to collaborate with us again.
Fellow long-time coach and coaching industry leader, David Goldsmith says “For too long we’ve said – no we’re not sport coaches – and that’s just nonsense.”
What David has discovered is an Aladdin’s Cave of wisdom, starting with key distinctions that can help solve the new problem of poor quality coaching.
From the sport world, we have so many distinctions that can assist us, it’s like a constellation filled with shooting stars:
Distinction #1: Sport coaches are on the field when the athletes are playing the games, or running the races. Life coaches, traditionally, have talked about the ‘big thing’ in the client’s life. They will talk about it before the thing, and after the thing, but seldom are they actually on the field in real-time.
Yet, when I shadowed clients around the world in 2010 as they launched their six-figure revenue streams, standing in the room with them, making the slightest of adjustments at the precise moment of occurrence…what magical, hands-on, real-time coaching. Almost like Bill Walsh head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
As David put it, “My coach Daniel helped me achieve much more than I could before. And that’s on my bicycle. What about in other areas of life? What if life and business coaches could have that effect with their clients?”
How can we non-sport coaches presence ourselves more fully into our clients lives?
In addition to the above distinction, there are many more, including the principles of rest and recovery, intensity, practice, the importance of measurement, strategic training that generates better results with less work.
Smart Words From Chris Carmichael, Author of the Time-Crunched Athlete and coach to Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, 3-time Olympian George Hincapie & former World Champion Dede Demet-Barry
“Overtraining looks a lot like undertraining.”
Stop for a moment and let that one sink in, as it’s a pretty deep one.
Side note: This is now one of my most beloved gems of wisdom, discovered in the sport coaching world, that applies neatly and firmly to my work as with coaching clients, and makes me a better, more insistent advocate-coach.
“Tour de France” – the ride of all rides – for cyclists in the world >> inspires “Tour de Coach” – the training of all trainings for life and business coaches
“Tour de Coach in February 2011 has inspired me to get back to Masters level swimming…”
“It’s so exciting – I can feel my shoulders drop in relief at this alternative to ho-hum coaching.”
In a tip of the hat to Chris Carmichael and his coaching of too many athletes to count, David Goldsmith and I have birthed >>
Tour de Coach, a 3 day training experience that
…involves activating the sport metaphor inside you
…the integration of physical activity (supervised, safe and stimulating) and…
…weaving the breakthroughs from that activity back to your coaching skills toolbox.
In Tucson, Arizona, Chris Carmichael himself and his team of trained sport coaches will be joining us to train, teach and coach you for 3 powerful days.
Using an innovative new ‘sport camp’ component each day where you will choose from cycling, swimming, running, aerobics and walking/yoga… there is nothing staid or ‘sit down’ about this training. Yet through this:
- You will strengthen your coaching skills through observation of sport-inspired coaching demos in real time, and integration of key sport coaching principles.
- You will learn new sport coaching business models through candid discussion – what worked, what didn’t, for Chris Carmichael as he built a multiple location, multiple coach business called Carmichael Training Systems?
- You will receive tools for your clients to support them in pursuit of the big ‘games’ in their lives.
- You will gain confidence and conviction in your role as a coach who gets results.
In what is essentially 3 events in one, our goals will be for you to leave Tour de Coach a better coach, a better business person and better at a sport of your choosing.
If you are wondering, at this point, if this might be too much for you, or you’re the person who feels the need to ‘floss your teeth for a week before going to the dentist.’ This is not an ego-driven ‘look at me’ training.
As Chris says explicitly in the video at www.TourdeCoach.com, everyone is an athlete, only some are in training and some are not, and every athlete starts somewhere.
We have taken great care to design an environment to meet you where you’re at. You only need to bring your desire, commitment to integrate the wisdom from sport into your life as a coach.
A Coach of Olympic Athletes + A Founding Leader in the Coaching World + A Leading Business Coach and Author = A very pricey proposition?
No. We are, simply put, obsessed with providing value, perhaps to a fault. We figure it’s better than the other way around.
But seriously, this event is comparable to any event in the coaching and online training world, NOT 3 times as expensive, even considering we’ll be providing bicycles, swimming pool, onsite coaches each day, etc.
It’s being held in accessible Tucson in an invigorating venue at very reasonable hotel rates.
Because of the equipment and hands-on coaching we’ll be providing in partnership with Carmichael Training Systems, seating is limited.
Be among the first to register and receive a gift of follow-on coaching in group format to literally, ‘bring your learning home.’
Early bird pricing is in effect for a little while longer. Click here to discover more.
As you consider this invitation, David and I, as collaborators in this new offering, hope you will consider the fundamental question facing coaching now:
Are you the best coach you can be, creating the very best results for your clients you think you can?
If you answered “no” or “I’m not sure” to the above, what are you doing about it, coach?
We can’t wait to see who takes us up on the challenge to forge an undeniable reputation for yourself as a kick-butt coach that creates results.
P.S. David is an avid cyclist who says his coaching skills have gone sky-high since pursuing cycling. Andrea loves kickboxing and kayaking and, in the middle of the launch of Tour de Coach is taking a mini-sabbatical to go to Belize and Kayak/camp for 8 days. It’s the principles of rest, recovery, intensity and having big goals at work!
We are exceedingly proud to partner with Carmichael Training Systems and Chris Carmichael to produce the world’s first training of this kind. Thank you to the CTS coaches and Chris for this ground-breaking partnership!