What makes for an excellent coach? What personal
qualities do top coaches possess that separate them from the good
coach? Is it more the training or the inner qualities? Is it more
coaching technique or the artistry? Is it more coaching knowledge
or its application? Is it more natural talent for helping people
or cultivated abilities? Is it insightful analysis of people or
an abiding presence with them?
There probably is no one single attribute that all excellent coaches
possess. Top flight coaches can be comprised of many stripes and
can come from many places, but they all connect with their charges,
they know how to make changes with them and they know how to get
results. Bottom line, they get the work done.
This is my own personal list of what I like to see in coaches. Over
my 15 years as a college educator I trained many, many future teachers
and coaches. I was master teacher to many of them. I mentor many
coaches on a private basis now. Probably the major qualities I saw
that distinguished the great from the very good were these three:
- They cared deeply about people.
- They had incredibly high personal standards and ambitions.
- They had a high level of self-knowledge.
Those three are at least a wonderful starting
point. Now on to the other 15 attributes of top-notch coaches. Top
coaches possess many of these:
- Exquisite self awareness.
- High emotional intelligence.
- Broad vision with focus on important details.
- Nuanced, crisp, superb communication.
- Highest regard, caring and respect for clients.
- Creative, innovative learner and developer of custom coaching
- Perceptive, intuitive, curious and inquiring.
- Quick study with capacity for deep and wide learning.
- Student of coaching and other disciplines that support helping
- Sincere interest in clients and desire to help.
- Continuous learner of themselves and their experiences.
- See coaching as a two way interchange of energies and learnings.
- Humble, open, nurturing and grateful to the world.
- View coaching as a calling, an art and a discipline.
- Walking the talk and modeling a good life for their clients.
Expert coaches work on themselves unceasingly. They are open to
new ideas and philosophies. They study coaching seriously and take
coaching seriously. They care about the person across from them.
That's what it's all about anyhow, isn't it? Helping people?
To learn more about how coach training can help you become a better
change agent, visit Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental Game Coach
Copyright © 2005-2008 Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on sports psychology, peak performance,
mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of William
B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps sports teams and individuals
achieve more success. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association, an organization dedicated to advancing
the research, development, professionalism and growth of mental game coaching
worldwide. He is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published author of books and articles,
and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports and big-time
Free Article Republishing Rights
You have our advance permission to republish this article, as long as you
do not sell it. The author's name, copyright notice (Copyright © Bill Cole,
MS, MA) and web address (SportsPsychologyCoaching.com)
must appear in all reprinted articles. If the article appears on a website or
in an e-zine, the article must include a link to a page in the
Sports Psychology Coaching website. We would also appreciate your including
the author's bio and full contact information in your article, although this
is not a requirement. For additional information, see our full article
republishing permission guidelines.