Every great person in their field became great by standing on the shoulders of other people to reach their goals. Coaches play a key role in shaping the lives of people that go on to do great things. Having a great coach can make a big difference in your overall performance.
When some people hear the word coach they freak out. One of the reasons is because of bad experiences they had in the past with previous coaches. As a result they shy away from engaging new coaches but limit their potential without realizing it. Having a coach in your life has great benefits not least of them achieving your full potential.
It’s true that there are coaches that aren’t so good and tend to rub people the wrong way. It’s also true there are great coaches who can help you become the best version of yourself. In this post we’re going to look at 7 qualities you will find in a great coach. They are as follows:
1. Interested in you as a person
The best coaches are not just interested in your performance on the field (whatever that might be for you.) They see you as a human being worth investing in not just in your profession but every aspect of your life. Coaches that just see you as someone there to do a job aren’t so good.
As they relate with and get to understand you they learn how to connect with and treat you in a way that you understand. In short they treat you as an individual and not another number on the team because they understand everyone is different.
The way a great coach will treat a star will be different to how he treats a role player for example. Understanding that every individual is unique and treating them as such helps a coach connect with his players. Ultimately that connection helps the various team members to achieve common goals without acting out of character.
2. Pay attention to detail
In the book, ‘The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork,’ John C Maxwell says, “The difference between two equally talented teams is leadership.” The best teams led by the best coaches are rarely exceptionally better than their counterparts talent-wise.
They are only better in their execution of the game plans to achieve desired outcomes.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” ~ Zig Ziglar
The difference has more to do with having a little extra insight into the same things they have to deal with. They have an extra edge. It may be as simple as getting a player to practice and fine-tune a certain aspect of their game for greater performance.
The best coaches don’t leave anything to chance, no stone unturned. If there’s something that needs to be fixed they do whatever is necessary to the last detail. With a coach like that you’re sure to get great results in the long term.
3. Know their trade
It’s important to work with someone who knows the journey that you’re embarking on. It’s ludicrous to follow someone who has no idea what they are doing. It would be similar to a blind person leading another blind person.
To become successful in any given area you want to model someone who has the results you want. At the very least they should have a track record of success in your field. It’s important to note, however, that some coaches may never have been great players themselves.
There are great coaches who were never stars in their profession, however. Their ability to teach others and understanding of the game is priceless nonetheless. That is why they are some of the best paid people in the world.
Coaching involves not only teaching technical skills but also things like having the right mindset and character. Those soft skills make the difference and someone who can train players to adopt them is a great coach.
4. Exhibit passion
Passion is contagious. To get great performances from their team a coach needs to infuse into them the same kind of passion. People love to play for coaches that have a love for the game. They make you want to perform for them at the highest level.
Having passion is not just about enjoying what you do. It also has to do with why you do what it is you’re passionate about. A great coach will communicate that to his players and as a player you’ll get up each day with purpose.
Working with them ends up not feeling like work at all but a mission that must be accomplished. One such coach that comes to mind for me is Jurgen Klopp who’s emotionally invested in his job.
That passion for something is what will keep you going in the midst of adversity. It’s a lot more fun being associated with people who are fired up about what they do. It has a way of inspiring you to pursue meaningful things in your life.
5. Know how to communicate
Great coaches are also great communicators. They know how to cast vision for their players and how to marry it with each individual’s aspirations. The coach is able to get buy-in from his players as he relates his vision and theirs’ together. He creates win-win situations.
“Communication is the basis of life.” ~ Edwin Cole
It’s good to have a coach who will applaud you when you do great work. It’s equally good when they correct you where you might not be doing so well. That constant communication helps keeps the players in touch with the ultimate goal.
Without communication both coach and players will end up disconnected and fail to achieve their goal. Their communication will be just about anything and how they communicate is just as important. Constant communication inspires confidence even when things are not going so well.
It builds trust between player and coach which is imperative for any successful relationship.
6. Push you to do your best
Though it’s not always pleasant, it’s good to have a coach who won’t buy your excuses for not doing something. Great coaches tend to see something in you that you don’t see yourself. They will do everything they can to get you out of your comfort zone so that you grow.
They understand that anything less than your best won’t get you the desired outcomes. Instead of ignoring certain weaknesses about your game they will challenge you to fix them. Part of being successful involves eliminating deficiencies in your game.
While maximizing your strengths is important it’s the little foxes not dealt with that tend to spoil the vine. This doesn’t mean that you should direct all your energy to fixing your weak areas but rather striking a good balance with your strengths.
So a great coach will work with you to rectify those weaknesses without sacrificing your strengths where you are most effective. Having someone push you to do better will help you perform better than you ever thought possible.
7. Inspire confidence
The way a coach handles adversity can either inspire confidence or disappoint his players. You want to work with a coach who can overcome challenges and still achieve the common goals. Sometimes they will have to make tough or unpopular decisions to get the job done.
Facing adversity will reveal where their heart is – whether it’s their own self-interests or in you as a player on their team. The coach who consistently makes decisions with your best interests at heart is the coach you want to work with.
They are the kind of coach for whom you’ll run through a brick wall to get a job done. When a coach fights for his players, his players reciprocate by fighting for him too.
That’s when you see players throwing away their excuses and giving their best efforts to achieve the common team goal. With a coach like this you’ll go far in not just your profession but in your life.