If anyone ever tells you, “You need a coach” run away! Think about it, long before anyone would say to you, “you need a coach”, you probably had one without asking for one. When someone starts off in little league, no one tells you, ‘you need a coach’, it’s part of the fundamental learning process of the game. When you join a choir, no one tells you, ‘you need a coach’; it’s already how it is structured. When a woman gives birth, no one tells her, ‘you need a coach’, but there is someone there that reminds her how to breathe, where and what to focus on, and that has been going on since time immortal.
‘Coach’ has become such a buzz-word that everyone is labeling themselves a Coach and then telling you why you need one. Here’s what is interesting. Most of those saying they are a Coach are not even doing any real coaching. These ‘coaches’ are consulting, and if you’re lucky maybe even mentoring (which potentially means they have been-there-done-that). Don’t get me wrong, consultants can be vitally important. I have done consulting, it provides great benefit, but it is not coaching.
So back to the question of needing a coach, according to the Guinness book of world records, Madonna, the best-selling female recording artist of all time, selling more than 300 million albums in her career since debuting with her self-titled release in 1983. Does she need a singing coach? No. But does she have one, or more? Yes. Why? Because a good coach helps you dig deeper, go further and soar even higher than you would on your own. Especially when you are at the top of your game.
Does Michael Phelps have a coach? For those whom have not heard of Michael, Michael Fred Phelps II is an American competition swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals in three Olympiads. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (double the second highest record holders), Olympic gold medals in individual events, and Olympic medals in individual events for a male. In winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps took the record away from fellow swimmer Mark Spitz for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. Five of those victories were in individual events, tying the single Games record. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four golds and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row. So does Michael have a coach? Yes!
Bill Gates has done a TED talk on how having a coach takes you further than you would have gone on your own. Does Bill Gates need a coach? No. Long before he had a coach he was doing quite well for himself. But when, for all intents and purposes, he was at the top of his game he got a coach. To some this seems counter-intuitive. Although when I see a paradox I tend to follow it. Paradoxes, for me, seem to show me how to be a trail-blazer in my area of expertise.
Who else states having a coach, even or especially at the top of your game, is a good idea? A man named Warren Buffet has had a coach for eons. Eric Schmidt of Google fame has said that having a coach was one of the best moves he ever made. As of January 2016, Forbes ranked Schmidt as the 48th-richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of $10.6 billion. When he stepped down as Google’s CEO, Google announced that he would continue as the executive chairman of the company and act as an adviser to co-founders Page and Brin. He obviously has some business smarts, so he doesn’tneed a coach, but he has one. Jack Welch of GE fame had, and sings the praises of, having a coach.
If you stop to consider certain fields of endeavor, it is intuitive to have a coach that can help you hone in on your natural abilities gaining that edge over your competitors. No TOP athlete goes without a coach and sometimes more than one. Think of baseball. There is not only a team coach, but the top hitters are constantly looking to their batting coach to help them stay on their game and get even better. Would they do great on their own? I believe so. Do they do even better with a coach? I believe so, but it doesn’t matter what I believe, they say, at the top of their game, they need a coach.
So if someone tells you, “you need a coach”, run away, quickly! If you want to know what a coach can do for you, give it a try. If a coach promises you what they can provide it terms of ‘specific’ and ‘objective’ outcomes, you are probably talking to a consultant in coach’s clothing. If they tell you they will help you maximize your natural abilities, get more perspective, if they say they will facilitate your process of attaining the focus of your vision, you are probably talking to a coach. In that case I urge you to stop, consider and test-drive what coaching can do for you.
By Shane M.D. Scott, Peak Performance Coach at www.MEMBERSCoaching.com Inquire about Shane’s FREE 3 week peak performance coaching offer.
Shane spent over 20 years working in the Criminal Justice field while concurrently working as a Peak Performance Coach.
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