March 30


Star Athletes Have a Coach. Should You?

By Robert Grossman

March 30, 2019

executive coaching, High Performance, Leadership

Why Do Star Athletes Have Coaches?

Athletes have coaches because they want to improve their performance continually. Even though the athletes might seem to be at the top of their game, they know their coaches will push them to see what they cannot see and move past their limiting beliefs to achieve even more excellent results.

The best leadership and executives coaches work with their clients in the same way.

What Is Coaching?

Coaching is a powerful one-on-one relationship that engages willing clients in a profound and honest exploration of their goals and the actions required to accomplish them. Coaching supports, challenges, and holds clients accountable to make consistent, often dramatic progress towards the realization of their highest aspirations.

Through coaching, willing clients will:

  • create or clarify their vision and execute on it
  • improve their leadership skills
  • become better communicators
  • overcome obstacles
  • change self-defeating beliefs and habits
  • build trust and goodwill with others
  • turn a business around
  • turn a challenging employee around
  • do whatever else is called for to achieve extraordinary results

A Brief History of Coaching

Coaching can trace its roots most directly to the theoretical underpinnings of humanistic psychology and upon the favorable assumptions about the nature and capabilities of people. In practice, coaching seeks to enable people to take action, achieve balance in their lives, and reach their full potential.

The word coaching used in a non-sports environment is derived from the field of training and development. Executive coaching and mentoring have been around for years within corporations to help employees improve their skills and move up the corporate ladder.

Perhaps more than any other individual, the modern-day field of coaching can be attributed to a visionary man by the name of Thomas Leonard, who created Coach University in 1992. Leonard pioneered the concept of “tele-coaching” by providing training in a live teleconferencing format and encouraging coaches and clients to meet by telephone, bringing greater flexibility to the relationship.

The dynamic field of coaching will undoubtedly continue to expand rapidly in the years ahead as more people learn of it as an alternative way of facilitating their personal and business development.

Goals of Coaching

1. Visioning and Taking Action

Coaching is designed to get people into action and moving them forward to the accomplishment of their vision. The structure of the coaching relationship encourages clients to have a forward-looking view of their lives and take the initiative to make positive changes. The coaching conversation focuses on exploring the outcomes that the client wants, and then the actions they will take to achieve those results. Coaches not only support their clients but also hold them accountable for taking affirmative action.

2. Learning and Self Discovery

The coaching relationship is an opportunity for clients to learn about themselves. Such knowledge is not a byproduct of coaching, but an end in and of itself. Learning brings balance and perspective to the goals and actions associated with accumulating and accomplishing (having and doing). Through self-discovery, clients ground themselves in a higher level of emotional maturity (being) so that their vision and goals become fully aligned with who they indeed are.

3. Transcending Key Moments

Coaches help clients learn new responses to their “key moments.” Key moments are situations and events that hold clients back from taking decisive action. It is often necessary to work with clients to identify their habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving when in their “Key Moments” to “forward the action.” Transcending key moments integrates both learning and self-discovery with taking action.

Principles of Coaching

1. Clients are capable, resourceful, and whole.

This is the essential principle of coaching. Many of the helping professions treat people as though they were broken, dysfunctional, or less than capable. Coaches recognize the brilliance and power of their clients to solve their problems and design the lives they desire.

2. The agenda comes from the client.

Clients are in charge of the coaching relationship. The job of the coach is to “hold the client’s agenda” and ensure that they are continually moving towards the results they want. The coach is not an expert who can tell clients what is most important in their lives or how to live their lives. The coach helps clients give voice to what is essential and then focuses on the process of how to get there. This principle honors and respects the full capability of clients.

3. The focus is on outcomes.

Coaching “begins with the end in mind.” The coach is continually helping the client to clarify the results they want. As such, the focus of coaching is on creating the future rather than getting over the past. The client will articulate the outcomes they desire guides the entire process, whether setting goals to achieve a broader life vision or solving day-to-day problems.

4. The process addresses the whole life.

Coaching helps the client achieve fulfillment in all areas of their lives. Even when the primary focus of coaching is to improve job performance, it is essential to remember that clients are “whole people.” Success or failure in one area of their lives affects other areas as well.

5. The relationship is the catalyst. 

The relationship between the client and coach acts as a catalyst that “calls forth” the full potential of the client. Through their interactions with their coach, the client taps into their power and abilities to create the life of their dreams. However, the focus of the relationship is not on the coach, per se. The power is derived from the relationship, tailored to the unique needs of each client, and mutually designed to empower the client to achieve their highest goals.

A coaching relationship will work for you if:

  1. You can identify a gap between where you are and where you want to be
  2. Are willing to learn and make new choices
  3. Have the persistence to do what it takes to make progress


Coaching is for anyone who is motivated to become or accomplish more in life. Most people who seek and benefit from coaching are already successful and want to take their personal development or business results to even greater heights.

Coaching is about challenging and supporting you in reaching your full potential. Think of it as a dynamic, synergistic relationship with a professional partner who will care, guide, nurture, inspire, support, and challenge you to be your best and accomplish your greatest desires.

Robert Grossman

About the author

Robert S. Grossman is a business growth consultant, trainer/facilitator, coach and speaker with decades of experience. Having achieved success in both the corporate world and as an entrepreneur, Robert has helped hundreds of companies with high-performance strategic consulting, training and communications. He coaches business leaders, CEOs, presidents, entrepreneurs and sales professionals.

Robert brings 30 years of experience as a business owner, executive coach, Vistage chair and an award-winning communicator.

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